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News Advisory: Annual Evacuation Exercise for Portland Aerial Tram set for Oct. 6; with Transportation Director Leah Treat, Mayor's Policy Director Josh Alpert

(October 3 2013) –  The annual evacuation exercise for the Portland Aerial Tram is set for Sunday morning, October 6, 2013.

Trained professionals of the Portland Fire & Rescue Technical Rescue Team will lead the exercise. The exercise also includes representatives from the City of Portland, whose Bureau of Transportation owns the tram;  Oregon Health & Sciences University, which manages it along with Doppelmayr USA.

Portland Transportation Director Leah Treat and Mayor Charlie Hales’ Policy Director Josh Alpert will be among the seven passengers to be evacuated in the exercise. Using ropes and harnesses, the team will lower the passengers 100 feet to the top floor of the OHSU Casey Eye Institute’s parking garage.  

The training allows crews to practice an aerial rescue of tram passengers in the event the tram is stopped for an extended period of time with passengers on board. If members of the public contact you with questions about the training, please inform them that this is a scheduled training exercise and not a real emergency.

The exercise has been conducted annually since the Portland Aerial Tram opened on January 7, 2007.  There has never been a real emergency.

The exercise is designed as a last resort safety precaution for the more than 5,000 daily commuters and tourists who ride the tram. The Portland Aerial Tram is one of only two used for urban transit in theU.S.

WHEN:                       9 a.m. Sunday,  October. 6, 2013 - The exercise should be completed by noon.

WHERE:                    The training will take place above the OHSU Casey Eye Institute parking garage. At that location a small number of exercise participants will be evacuated from the tram and lowered via ropes and harnesses down to the top of the parking structure. Local news crews are encouraged to cover the training, but we ask that you do so from the ground and refrain from entering the Casey Eye Institute parking lot so as not to interfere with the exercise.

SPECTATORS:          The Portland Aerial Tram is closed on Sundays during the fall and winter. As a result, the training exercise will not interfere with regular operations. For those interested in observing, please do so from nearby locations and refrain from entering the Casey Eye Institute parking lot. 

ABOUT THE PORTLAND AERIAL TRAM

The Portland Aerial Tram is owned by the City of Portland’s Bureau of Transportation and operated by Oregon Health & Sciences University.  It opened to the public on Jan. 27, 2007. The cabins, named Walt and Jean, travel 3,300 linear feet between the South Waterfront terminal adjacent to the OHSU Center for Health & Healing, and the upper terminal at the Kohler Pavilion on OHSU's main campus. Traveling at 22 miles per hour, the tram cabins rise 500 feet for the three-minute trip over I-5, the Lair Hill neighborhood and the Southwest Terwilliger Parkway. Visit http://gobytram.com . Find the tram on Twitter @PortlandTram  and Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/portlandaerialtram