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What’s in the boxes that say “For Police Use Only” on the TTC?

What’s in the boxes that say “For Police Use Only” beneath the platform of each station on the TTC?—Andrew Glenny

Two things: a stretcher and special cleanup chemicals. In emergencies, the Toronto Transit Commission has two priorities: first, help anyone who might have been injured, and then get the system back up and running as soon as possible. But a so-called “incident at track level” doesn’t necessarily involve a train. Stroke or heart attack victims have been known to fall onto the rails, as have breakfast abstainers taking a hypoglycemic topple. Having a stretcher ready for transit employees and outside medical personnel hastens the process of getting a victim to safety. The cleanup chemicals, for their part, accelerate the removal of any bodily fluids, from vomit to blood, and sterilize the area. They not only disinfect, but also turn any biohazardous liquid into an easily vacuumed-up—if still somewhat disgusting—sawdust-like substance.

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