Dr Tronson has been in Baptist Ministry since 1977 and served as the Australian Cricket Team Chaplain for 17 years to 2000, established Life After Cricket and in 2009 was awarded the Olympic Ministry Medal by Olympian of the Century Carl Lewis. He said that the nation’s rail operators, including V/Line and Metro are meeting for a ground-breaking forum on rail trauma.
Mex Cooper writing in the Sydney Morning Herald noted that Australasian Railway Association chief executive Bryan Nye said that the industry recognised train drivers needed more help to cope with the devastating impact of witnessing deaths and serious accidents.
Mr Nye said operators would consider offering drivers peer-to-peer counselling, which is now available to Victorian police and paramedics. He noted that some locomotive enginemen will never get over it and will never return to work. They're the silent victims and we've got to try to do something to help them. (www.smh.com.au)
Mark Tronson worked as a locomotive engineman on both steam and diesel in the late 60s through to 1977, initially stationed in Goulburn and then Port Kembla. He witnessed the aftermath of several of his colleagues who witnessed first hand both level crossing deaths and suicides.
He has written about such trauma upon engineman and their families on numerous occasions and yet, in all these years, it has fallen on deaf ears in that railway authorities had never seen fit to tackle this issue in such a public manner.
Practical help critical
Mark Tronson is exceptionally pleased that at long last, this issue for train divers is being discussed at this level of management, whereby formal decisions can be made to produce 'working outcomes'.
Dr Tronson trusts that the outcome will be hands-on with face to face personal assistance hereby the family can identify when their loved one is unable to handle the internal pressures of such trauma. All too often such programs are seminars where the corporate responsibility box is ticked but not much practical help takes place.
From a life time in Christian Ministry, Dr Tronson says that what is important is that the family can ring a designated contact and say, “Come quick, help him and help us, take him for a drive and be his friend.”
It is really important he says, that the rail industry fund such practical outcomes. The rail industry has come so far with this and need commending. These can be life and death outcomes.
Mark Tronson desperately trusts it will not be a talk fest where corporate ‘duty of care’ is simply ticked and it’s passed onto another corporate non-hands-on agency.
Industrial chaplaincy, says Dr Tronson, is one very good way forward where the service provider doesn’t sign off at 5.00pm.
Dr Mark Tronson is a Baptist minister (retired) who served as the Australian cricket team chaplain for 17 years (2000 ret) and established Life After Cricket in 2001. He was recognised by the Olympic Ministry Medal in 2009 presented by Carl Lewis Olympian of the Century. He has written 24 books, and enjoys writing. He is married to Delma, with four adult children and grand-children.
Mark Tronson's archive of articles can be viewed at www.pressserviceinternational.org/mark-tronson.html