Warren Jolly, Jacksonville 200 Club President,
congratulates Trooper Noel Rios
On Wednesday, January 22, 2003, Trooper Noel Rios, Troop G-Palatka District, was honored at the Jacksonville "200 Club" Annual Meeting and Awards Banquet. Trooper Rios was recognized for his outstanding efforts while responding to a train derailment south of Crescent City, Florida.
On Thursday, April 18, 2002, Trooper Rios was dispatched to a train derailment about two miles south of Crescent City, Florida. Twenty-one rail cars out of forty derailed, resulting in four fatalities and 166 injuries to the trainís passengers. Trooper Rios, one of the first rescue personnel to arrive on the scene, climbed up on top of the overturned rail cars without regard for his personal safety and dropped down inside to assist those who were injured.
Going from car to car, he solicited uninjured passengers and local volunteers to assist him in the triage of the injured passengers. Upon arrival of emergency medical technicians and paramedics, he remained to help remove the injured, carrying them on backboards and stretchers down to the staging area for transport to local hospitals. Even though Trooper Rios was physically exhausted and on the verge of dehydration because of the extreme heat and humid conditions, he did not stop until all of the injured were cared for. Trooper Riosís actions helped calm the tragic situation and reduced the possibility of additional injuries, which could have escalated because of panic or fear.