Trainmaster Eric Johnson supports Operation RedBlock by serving on New England Division's steering committee.
Trainmaster Eric Johnson is a longtime Operation RedBlock supporter. He serves on New England Division’s ORB steering committee, but he became a volunteer 16 years ago as a conductor.
“I’m involved because I like helping people,” he said. “I do it to save lives.”
As a manager, Johnson is key in supporting RedBlock culture. Although managers must report employees who arrive to work under the influence, Johnson encourages employees to come to him while sober and ask for help. He also is willing to listen to problems involving family members and friends. Managers should support RedBlock mentally and financially, he said.
“Trainmasters and managers in general should support RedBlock,” he said. “Employees come to us for everything — remittance, supplies — they want to come to us with their problems as well, but some don’t feel that they can. I let my employees know that they can come and talk to me about anything.”
When Johnson became a manager seven years ago, he missed serving as a captain. However, he has continued to support RedBlock behind the scenes. He orders supplies for awareness events and sometimes cooks. Events with food attract employees and provide opportunities for RedBlock education, he said.
In 2015, Johnson won an ORB Spirit Award, a recognition for going above and beyond the spirit of service.
The RedBlock cause is personal to Johnson, who in his youth witnessed family member’s struggles with drug and alcohol abuse.
“I have never had a drink in my life,” he said. “I didn’t want to grow up like that.”