History

“Ope­ra­tion Life­sa­ver” in USA

Ope­ra­tion Life­sa­ver star­ted in Ida­ho in 1972 when the natio­nal ave­ra­ge of col­li­sions at hig­hway-rail gra­de cros­sings excee­ded 12,000 annu­al­ly. A six-week pub­lic awa­re­ness cam­paign cal­led “Ope­ra­tion Life­sa­ver” was spon­sored by the office of Gover­nor Cecil And­rus, the Ida­ho Peace Officers and Union Paci­fic rail­road as a one-time, one-sta­te ini­tia­ti­ve.

During the campaign’s first year, Idaho’s cros­sing-rela­ted fata­li­ti­es drop­ped by 43 percent. The next year, the Ope­ra­tion Life­sa­ver cam­paign spread to Neb­ras­ka, whe­re their col­li­sion rate was reduced by 26 percent. Kan­sas and Geor­gia expe­rienced simi­lar success the fol­lowing year.

Between 1978 and 1986, whi­le Ope­ra­tion Life­sa­ver ope­ra­ted under the aus­pices of the Natio­nal Safe­ty Council, all 49 con­ti­nen­tal sta­tes star­ted inde­pen­dent Ope­ra­tion Life­sa­ver prog­rams. In 1986, the natio­nal prog­ram was rele­ased from NSC and incor­po­ra­ted as a natio­nal, non-pro­fit, 501(c)(3) educa­tio­nal orga­niza­tion. The foun­ding spon­sors of Ope­ra­tion Life­sa­ver, Inc. (OLI), the Railway Prog­ress Ins­ti­tu­te, Amtrak and the Associa­tion of Ame­rican rail­roads con­ti­nue to ser­ve on OLI´s 11 mem­ber.

“Ope­ra­tion Life­sa­ver” in Euro­pe

  • In autumn 2003 Herb Pay­ne, Chair­man of the Mana­ge­ment Board – Mana­ging Direc­tor of AS Ees­ti Raud­tee, recom­men­ded Tamo Vahe­mets to get acqu­ain­ted with railway safe­ty pro­ject “Ope­ra­tion Life­sa­ver” in the US.
  • In March 2004 Tamo Vahe­mets and his wife atten­ded a two-day “Ope­ra­tion Life­sa­ver” trai­ning in Kan­sas. They retur­ned to Esto­nia as cer­ti­fied OL pre­sen­ters.
  • In July 2004 Tamo Vahe­mets rep­re­sen­ted Esto­nia in inter­na­tio­nal “Ope­ra­tion Life­sa­ver” sym­po­sium held in San Anto­nio, Texas.
  • During the sym­po­sium Tamo Vahe­mets was gran­ted the aut­ho­rity for estab­lis­hing a branch of “Ope­ra­tion Life­sa­ver” in Esto­nia.
  • On Novem­ber 19, 2004 AS Ees­ti Raud­tee (Esto­nian Raylway Ltd), Tamo Vahe­mets and Urve Miid­la foun­ded non-pro­fit orga­niza­tion “Ope­ra­tion Life­sa­ver Esto­nia” (OLE) fol­lowing the pri­nciples accep­ted by Ope­ra­tion Life­sa­ver Inc.