National Rail Safety Alliance and State OL Program Volunteer Policies
Any person who represents the state Operation Lifesaver (OL) program by making any type of railroad grade crossing education presentation or who makes any type of rail safety education presentation must first be an approved volunteer as determined by the state OL program. This includes attending and satisfactorily completing an approved state OL Volunteer Program by the state OL program.
The role of a volunteer is strictly limited to providing rail safety education programs for which the volunteer has been approved by the state OL program. Volunteers are not and should not consider themselves to have any other role on behalf of a state OL program or National Rail Safety Alliance, Inc. (NRSA) and may not serve as spokespersons for a state OL programs or NRSA. Requests from the media or other persons or entities related to NRSA and state OL programs should be directed to the executive director of that state OL program or NRSA. Nevertheless, it is understood that the conduct of state OL volunteers reflects on the state OL program, NRSA, and on the volunteer’s employer. Therefore, inappropriate behavior, language, and discriminatory or harassing remarks and behavior, including sexual, racial, religious and other forms of harassment and other activities that reflect poorly on the state OL program or NRSA will not be tolerated and are grounds for immediate dismissal as an approved volunteer. The volunteer’s only responsibility is to deliver a rail safety presentation as taught in the state OL program training. Volunteers are not authorized to express their opinions or to discuss topics other than those specifically included during their state OL Volunteer Program training.
Materials and Back-Up Volunteers
Volunteers may only use materials authorized by state OL programs and NRSA when making presentations. Materials not authorized by state OL programs and NRSA in advance in writing, including images related to actual deaths or injuries even if such materials are readily available in the public domain, are prohibited from use in any presentation or event. It is the volunteer’s responsibility to prepare in advance and deliver the presentation at the agreed-upon time and place. If a volunteer cannot make a presentation due to an emergency, it is the volunteer’s obligation to contact the state OL program executive director as soon as possible so that a replacement can be found. Depending on circumstances, a volunteer who fails to show up for a scheduled presentation could be placed on probation, suspended or dismissed at the sole discretion of the state OL program executive director. Such steps are taken to ensure the credibility of the state OL program.
Scheduling of Presentations
State OL program volunteers are permitted and in fact, encouraged to schedule their own presentations and do no need approval from the state OL program executive director. However, all special events do require approval from the state OL program executive director.
A dress code is in effect for state OL program volunteers. For men, a shirt with a collar or sweater and dress/casual pants are all appropriate attire; dress or clean casual shoes are required. For women, a dress, skirt and blouse, pantsuits, and pants with a shirt are all acceptable; dress or clean casual shoes are required. At times, depending on your audience, appropriate costumes, uniforms and sports apparel would be acceptable. Remember the nature of the event and your audiences dictate the proper type of clothing you should wear. You should usually “out dress” your audience by one level. Cut-offs, T-shirts, unclean clothing and unclean shoes are prohibited. If there are questions concerning a special costume to be worn or the appropriateness of your attire, please call your state OL program executive director.
Upon completion of a presentation, the presenter must report the presentation or special event on the NRSA website within five (5) days of the presentation or special event. A volunteer who has questions concerning reporting should contact the state OL program executive director for help.
State and Employer Policies
In addition to being familiar with state OL policies, it is the responsibility of each volunteer to be familiar with any policies concerning volunteering that their employer may have and comply with those policies too. If there are any conflicts between the policies of the state OL program and the volunteer’s employer, it is up to the volunteer to contact their state OL program as soon as the conflict is known so that it can be resolved.
It is permissible for a state OL program volunteer to help recruit other people for consideration as state OL program volunteers. Submit contact information of interested individuals to the state OL program executive director.