2013 Dr. Gary Burch Award – Nominate the Person You Know Who Improved the Safety of Railroad Passengers

The 19th Annual Dr. Gary Burch Memorial Safety Award is awarded from the Burch Family to the railroad worker who has done the most to improve the safety of railroad passengers. The award includes $1,000. Dr. Burch was chief of the Ear, Nose and Throat Clinic at Eisenhower Hospital at Fort Gordon, Ga. He was one of eight passengers who died July 31, 1991, at Lugoff, S.C., while traveling on Amtrak’s Silver Star. It derailed at a switch that the National Transportation Safety Board later said was “poorly maintained.” 

Dr. Burch’s wife, Bette, was traveling with him and was injured. Later, she and her children (Michael Burch and Kathryn Burch Pettyjohn), after consulting with The National Association of Railroad Passengers (NARP), decided to establish the award, with the goal of improving passenger rail safety. NARP solicits nominations from railroads, commuter railroad agencies and rail labor. The Burch family consults with an advisory committee convened by NARP and then selects the award winner.

The National Association of Railroad Passengers is looking for nominations for this award. The deadline for nominations is Friday March 15, 2013. The nominations can be mailed, sent by Fax or e-mailed.

Be as specific as possible in explaining what your nominee did to improve safety. The Burch Family is particularly interested in candidates who are front-line workers and whose job duties are not specifically related to safety.

Click here for the conditions and criteria of this award.