The Responder – November 2011

Message from TIM Network Liaison

This is a great time to be a member of the TIM Network.  Our organization continues to receive input from many of the industries leaders from all disciplines of TIM and the TIM Network continues to gain visibility as “the” one-stop shop of traffic incident management information.  This month’s edition of the Responder is jam packed with information and perspectives from a variety of sources.  First, our 3 question interview and technical corner feature overviews of the presentations that will be given at tomorrow’s monthly TIM Webinar.  There is still time to register by clicking this link:

As I told you in last month’s issue, I am very excited about this new dimension of the TIM Network and I hope that this will provide a new level of connectivity and collaboration among all of you.  Our membership continues to grow and now approaches 1,000 members and our new website is in the early stages of deployment  You should be receiving your username and password for members only access very shortly.  You can view the Responder online at this address: http://timnetwork.org/category/the-responder/

 

As always, forward, print and post The Responder and please email all suggestions and content to erensel@gfnet.com.

 

Eric E. Rensel

    TIM Network LiaisonGannett Fleming, Inc.│O:717-763-7211 M:717-645-3791│erensel@gfnet.com

 Chairman’s Office – A Reflection on Leadership

T.J. Nedrow is the vice chairman of the NTIMC and NFPA 1091 Committee member.  nedrowT@wsdot.gov

 Is your TIM responder complete, and prepared?  Does your lack of leadership and accountability combined with their low proficiency put their safety and all responders at risk?  If the assessment to either is yes, I must ask WHY?  How would you react to dealing with a responder’s next of kin knowing you could have played a part preventing a tragedy?  Could you or your agency handle the negative consequences associated with an error committed?  There are way too many organizations that would tell you the impact is so traumatic and life altering.  Only had the agency adopted, adhered to polices or stepped up and held their responders accountable.  Nothing herculean here just some simple minimum levels of responder standards beyond a grasp of knowledge, skills and abilities.  As such the lives of many would be rewarding, less complicated and certainly more assignments successful with proven and qualified responders. 

 While the complete and comprehensive TIM responder still eludes us we as leaders must demand that common sense not be lost in our roles.  It seems that all too often we read accounts of leaders making a choice resulting in horrible consequences. 

 Still hope is on the horizon if you choose to rely on the written word for leadership guidance.  The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) has assembled a well qualified team whose purpose is to propose qualification standards applicable to highway responders.  The Traffic Control Incident Management Professional Qualifications Committee (NFPA 1091) shall be indentified job performance requirements that address basic professional qualifications for emergency responders in relation to their area of responsibility and operations on roadways.

 Well underway with the assignment I personally hope once approved that the non-binding standards are quickly adopted and response entities choose to implement.  In doing such, more of our fellow brother and sister responders will live to go home to their loved ones.

 3 Questions with Vince Fairhurst

Vince is with the Washington State Department of Transportation. fairhuv@wsdot.wa.gov

Q1:  Please explain what the 9-Box Theory is and what led you to identify the need for it.

  • The nine box theory is a data classification concept that captures the scope and of the emergency response and motorist assistance services of the WSDOT Incident Response Team.
  • Program Moto is Clearing Roads. Helping Drivers. Clearing Roads represents the emergency response (blocking) aspect of our service and the Helping Drivers represents the Motorist Assistance (non-blocking) incidents.

 

Q2:  What parts of the NUG does the 9-Box Theory address?

  • The NUG is fully represented in the Blocking Traffic Related Incidents in Box 4.
  • These also represent the 90 minute roadway clearance goals for the agency.

 Q3:  How does this theory translate into practice for the WSDOT emergency response partners and for the Department itself?

 

  • Data is the integral component of all performance analysis and reporting requirements.
  • By gathering targeted and more reliable data we are better able to communicate program performance and manage the limited resources of the program.

 Technical Corner – Arizona REACT Program – Eric Hillyer

Eric is an Incident Management Specialist and REACT Team Commander Communications/ASI for Maricopa County.  erichillyer@mail.maricopa.gov

The Incident Management Program, through REACT (Regional Emergency Action Coordinating Team), is comprised of rapid responders to incidents within Maricopa County. Its purpose is to assist Maricopa County Sheriffs Office as well as other agencies responding to incidents throughout the county by providing traffic incident management. This includes both anticipated and unexpected events. The primary directive is to provide emergency traffic management at incident sites to establish safety for emergency responders by applying necessary devices for traffic control at or adjacent to the incident site.

The goal of incident management is two-fold. The first is to address the safety of all of those involved with the incident. This includes civilians, both involved in and near the incident site, the emergency crews responding to the incident and the crews responsible for restoring normal operation.

The second element of the incident management goal is to minimize the effect of the incident on the operation of the roadways. This involves altering the operation and/or capacity of the roadway throughout the duration of the incident, informing motorists of the condition, and clearing the roadway of vehicles and debris. Each of these sub-elements is part of the effort to reduce the time span of the incident, maximize the element of safety, reduce the likelihood of secondary incidents, and restore the roadway to free-flow operation.

What may be unique about the REACT Program is that it also is used on arterial roadways with success.  This presentation will address team building, lessons learned, program structure and multi-agency training specifically as it applies to taking a freeway incident management program and applying it to an arterial roadway.

 Special Guest Contributor – Geoff Lowe

Geoff is the Airwave Interoperability & Fleetmapping Manager, Technology Product Management Unit – Operations Directorate, United Kingdom National Policing Improvement Agency. geoff.lowe@npia.pnn.police.uk, www.npia.police.uk

 Way back in the mid 1990’s, the 51 police forces of England, Scotland and Wales took up  an option on redundant radio frequencies and began the transition from their aging analogue ‘radio channels’ to the new and exciting challenge of digital communications.

The consortium, ‘Quadrant’, was awarded the contract and licence to provide a single communications solution exclusively for users from the Public Safety Arena which rightly included the police. In 2001, the UK Police Service became the sole users of what is now known as the Airwave Service and one of the first tasks was to develop a matrix of interoperability – a wish list of who they would want to interoperate with in a future perfect world. The list wasn’t huge, underpinned by old prejudices and doctrine.

It was some 4 years later before any other Organisations began to join the Service but by then the NPIA (and its precursor organisation) had developed potential sharing protocols for joint use of police talk groups (the new name for channels). Full rollout to the Police Service was achieved in 2005/6.

The major consequence of the change out from analogue ‘radio channels’ to digital Airwave talk groups, meant that all future communication requirements, internal and external, had to be pre-defined and embedded into the Airwave system, in control rooms and into all radio terminals from the outset. It was no mean feat to predict the requirements of a potential 450k Users.

The UK Police Forces adapted to the challenges locally with very little consideration to the cross border or national roaming requirements or indeed for the need for interoperability with other organisations. The NPIA guidance was given little more than ‘lip service’ by some forces but responding to the central government imperative for a Blue Light Services national roaming interoperability capability, the NPIA produced guidelines and recommendations to the Police Service that were now mandated.

Sets of talk groups for cross border working, major incident management and multi agency interoperability are now in place and embedded into police control rooms and in all officers hand held and mobile radios. A further set of talk groups provided the Police Service with a national mutual aid capability that allows any officer to respond to any other force in the UK and have a common communications facility available on arrival.

Airwave now consists of 350k plus users from over 400 user entities from a broad spectrum of Public Safety organisations that include:

  • Police, Fire and Ambulance and their subsidiaries
  • Local Authorities – Emergency Planning, CCTV, Wardens etc.
  • Highways – England, Scotland & Wales
  • Military – Civil Response and Rescue
  • Government Agency – UK Borders, Customs & Revenue, Prisons etc.
  • Volunteers – Rescue Associations, Coastguards, Lifeboats, Mountain, Cave and River Rescue

Practitioners from the broad spectrum of users formed into groups to develop the exchange of talk groups which are closely linked to the Police National Fleetmap (NFM). The NFM solution provides a wide availability of talk groups to all Airwave users for inclusion in their hand held and mobile radios nationally and control rooms where available. In operational terms, any user visiting another users’ area will have access to a whole range of talk groups pre-configured in their radios for use as required by the host Organisation. Collectively this is now commonly known as the National Communications Plan (NCP).

Despite this newly formed technical collaboration, there were still two key operational elements that needed addressing:

  • A Common set of Operating Procedures and Protocols (OPPs).
  • A willingness to train all potential users and regularly test the OPPs.

In 2007 the NPIA began to address these issues and set about providing the national multi-agency strategy for common working practices and protocols. The result was a rollout of the Standard Operating Procedure Guide on Police to Police and Inter-agency Airwave Interoperability and the subsequent series of Regional Workshops to the Multi-Agencies to promote its content. Additionally, common training packages across the services have been centrally developed and individually delivered.

The document contains information on the use of Airwave for Interoperable Voice Communications, for both Police to Police and Police with other Category 1 and 2 Responder Agencies and the Military. It has been produced by the National Policing Improvement Agency (NPIA) on behalf of the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) and ACPO Scotland who will use it to make the required operational choices at a local level in order to achieve the appropriate police response that will ensure the general public has a consistent level of service.

This SOP Guide (124 pages) recognises and respects the well-established policies, protocols, practices and procedures in each police force and emergency service on their individual use of Airwave. It complements these by providing guidance on how to use the functionality provided by Airwave to realise the full benefits of the communications capabilities provided. In particular it focuses on the collaboratively way Airwave can be used for both Police to Police use and Police to other Agency use as a means to improve command, control and coordination. It specifies what talk groups are available, when and how they should be used and the operational benefits that can be derived from their use. Airwave should also be viewed as an essential support tool that enables the immediate and simultaneous sharing of critical information over a common radio network that is now available to over 400 Agencies nationally. The SOP Guide does not affect established doctrine on command and control; only the methods by which it can be communicated by radio. Individual ownership over resources is not compromised.

To make this summary more specific to ‘TIM’ practitioners and ‘Responder’ readers, it should be mentioned that the UK Highways Agencies, who have not always entirely subscribed to the multi-agency approach to interoperability, are now fully committed participants and we look forward to working in partnership with them.

Several high profile major incidents have focused minds and caused intervention from the highest level, all of which has helped to gain the commitment from forces that eventually addressed the situation.

The Public Disorder experienced across the UK in its major Cities has provided the greatest test yet of the Airwave Service and National Communications Plan and it worked well. The NCP is the basis for the Olympics Communications Plan and no amount of training or testing could or would have been greater than that experienced in August 2011 so things look ‘OK’ for 2012.

 FHWA TI&EM Update

In 2011, the Traffic Incident Management (TIM) Self Assessment (SA) underwent a revision to properly adjust to the current state of TIM practices across the country, making the assessment less subjective.  Because of the revision, FHWA’s TI&EM team fully expected to receive a minute score increase, if any at all.  Fortunately, that was not the case as there was a tremendous increase in the national SA score for 2011. The 2011 TIM National SA score came in at an outstanding 68.2%, a big jump from the 2010 score of 63.95.  This year averages were also calculated for the Top 40 metropolitan areas at 75% and Top 75 metropolitan areas at 70.25.  

Ninety-three TIM SA were completed, an increase of 8 newly assessed cities from last year’s results.  The 68.2% score showed an increase over the 2003 Baseline score of 42.3%. 

Many opportunities are available locally as indicated in the local assessments. Some of the national opportunities identified through low scoring questions in the report are:

  • Multi-agency coordination – A consistent deficiency has emerged relating to multi-agency coordination.
  • Performance Measures – These questions are the lowest scoring but progress is are a must!
  • Safe, Quick Clearance Laws and Policies – Driver and responder awareness, inconsistency of laws, inadequate enforcement, states without Driver Removal and/or Authority Removal Laws.  

The great increase this year and since the baseline was established in 2003 shows that progress is being made with TIM! There are many contributors to this progress over the years; the NTIMC, the National Unified Goal, FHWA, dozens of local initiatives, programs and committees, and now the TIM Network.  The momentum continues and the TIM Network and you individually can play a vital role in bringing TIM to the next level to save responder lives and injuries and to help ease the congestion and economic problems in this country.  You can make a difference in bringing TIM to the next level thorough your leadership! 

Upcoming TIM Workshop Dates

  • November 2, 2011 – Pittsburgh, PA
  • November 16-17, 2011 – Cincinnati, OH
  • December 12-13, 2011 – Cleveland, OH
  • December 14-15, 2011 – Denver, CO

Upcoming Webinars

FHWA, NTIMC, and the TIM network will be collaborating on a webinar on Using the NUG as a Planning Tool for TIM Program Management. More details will be provided when they are available.

Safety Service Patrol Training CD’s

FHWA has recently published training CDs for Safety Service Patrols (SSP).  The interactive CD contains modules that provide an introduction of SSP, information for SSP operators, controlling traffic during an emergency, and actions needed at the scene of an incident. These CD’s are applicable materials to use during SSP trainings, conferences, and meetings. They can be utilized individually or accompanied with the following two FHWA publications, Full-Function Service Patrol (FFSP) Handbook and Full-Function Service Patrol Field Operations Guide (FOG) Checklists and Visor Cards Set.

Traffic Incident Management: Full-Function Service Patrol (FFSP) Handbook

This publication provides a detailed guide on roles and responsibilities of the SSP and their partners at an incident, decision making, a concept of operations, suggested equipment lists, reporting forms, formats and processes (including the Traffic Management Centers, or TMCs), public communications, checklists and other tools to aid transportation operations personnel affiliated with the SSP.  This handbook explains the reasons that metropolitan areas should upgrade courtesy patrols or partial-function service patrols to full function SSP that operate 24/7; the cost efficiencies of using a SSP versus police or fire resources to cover some incident responses; and other factors important to establishing full function capabilities associated with SSP.

Full-Function Service Patrol Field Operations Guide (FOG) Checklists and Visor Cards Set

This document takes the FFSP handbook a step further and provides a tactical guide for Service Patrol personnel functioning in the field.

If you would like to request these or any document to be shipped to you to build a library, accommodate meetings, or provide materials for trainings, please contact the TI&EM Publication Manager, Karla Bloch at Karla.Bloch@dot.gov , with the title and total number of each publication needed as well as the appropriate shipping address.

 RTSMO TIM Subcommittee Update

The Regional Traffic Incident Management Subcommittee of the TRB Regional Transportation Systems Management Operations Committee was formed in January 2011 to consider TIM activities from the perspective of both planning and operating agencies. Activities of the Regional TIM Subcommittee so far have included:

 

  1. Existing TIM Committee Activities – Compiled information about existing national TIM committees (such as scope of activities and issues addressed) to identify areas of regional TIM that are not being addressed by existing groups / committees
  2. TIM Survey – Conducted to document existing regional TIM activities as well as identify gaps and opportunities to enhance regional TIM.  Received 145 responses from operations/response and planning agencies.
  3. White Paper – Will incorporate results of first two activities into a document that develops suggestions for how TIM could be dealt with in a regional context and the role regional organizations / MPOs could play in regional TIM

 We are in the process of evaluating results from activities 1 and 2 to prepare the White Paper. Our goal is to have a draft White Paper to discuss at our subcommittee meeting at TRB in January.

 Anyone is welcome to be a member of the Regional TIM Subcommittee.  Any questions or requests to join can be sent to Pat (pat@patnoyes.com) or Eileen (esingleton@baltometro.org). 

  I-95 Corridor Coalition Update

The I-95 Corridor Coalition sponsored the first-ever Incident Management/First Responder Day on October 19th during the 2011 ITS World Congress in Orlando, Florida.  Hundreds of first responders and incident management personnel were briefed on the state of the practice, and spent the afternoon visiting technology exhibits including emergency response vehicles and equipment displayed at the Convention Center.  Capt. Tom Martin, I-95 Corridor Coalition Operations Coordinator, spoke about the Coalition’s Quick Clearance Program and provided a brief overview of incident management/first response training programs available through the Coalition.  I-95 Coalition Southern Region HOGs (Highway Operations Group) Co-Chair Chief Grady Carrick of the Florida Highway Patrol updated attendees on Florida’s incident management activities.  John Corbin also briefed the group on the status of the National Unified Goal for Traffic Incident Management and NTIMC’s national TIM endeavors.  Additionally provided were updates on various ITS incident management research projects including RESCUE ME and NG 911, as well as Florida’s Turnpike Enterprise RISC and STARR systems.   Throughout the afternoon, attendees had the opportunity to see technology in action as applied to incident management and first response.  For example, more than 50 persons participated in a hands-on demonstration of the I-95 Corridor Coalition’s 3-D Virtual Incident Management First Responder Training System which enables practical, scenario-based, interactive, real-time incident management training for numerous responders, trainers and “victims” simultaneously (www.i95coalition.org).  Attendees were also introduced to the Coalition’s Incident Management Core Competencies Online Training Module, which focuses on applying Quick Clearance principles to roadway incidents. This approximate hour-long course covers basic scene safety and traffic management core competencies through a series of instructional videos followed by quizzes, and can be used as standalone training for anyone having access to the internet (www.i95vim.com/).   For more information, contact Capt. Tom Martin at jtmartin@cox.net.

EMS Safety Foundation Update

The EMS Safety Foundation is an interdisciplinary organization that brings together the diverse expertise involved in the realms of EMS safety – bridging operational EMS and technical expertise from transportation, automotive safety, fleet management, human factors, ergonomics and systems safety fields. Sharing best practice from across the world, focusing on the safety of the provider, the patient and the public.  The EMS Safety Foundation has been involved in enhancing EMS safety since 2007 in North America and now globally, with participants from Europe, Scandinavia, South America and also Australia. For more info about the EMS Safety Foundation take a look at this document: http://www.emssafetyfoundation.org/About_the_EMSSF_2011.pdf, or go to our web site www.EMSSafetyFoundation.org.

 The Foundation presented on innovation in fleet management at the 18th World Congress on Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) October 20th in Orlando.  At the American Public Health Association Congress on November 1, the activities of the Foundation were presented “Implementation of a Sustainable Interdisciplinary Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Transport Safety Innovation and Knowledge Transfer e-platform” and the Foundation’s activities will also be presented at NAEMSP in January 2012.  Also mark your calendar for the forthcoming National Academies Transportation Research Boards EMS and Medical Transport Safety Systems, Strategies and Solutions Summit, Feb 29, 2012 –  with a satellite and opening address from EMS Today by AJ Heightman.

View from the Street – Eric Reddeck

Eric Reddeck is a National Fallen Firefighter Everyone Goes Home Advocate and the chair of the HRHIM & HRFSOC

Responders can lose their lives or have a career ending  injury at  incident scenes, with loss to family, friends and have a very large Economic Impact. This is why  No injuries or fatality incurring during the incident management process should ever be  considered   ACCEPTABLE .  Below is a very good 10 Cones for Highway Safety  video , HR –RCTO  and National Unified Goal TIM.

* 10 Cones for Highway Safety – It’s Worth Understanding – NFFF- Everyone Goes Home 

   http://everyonegoeshome.com/media/2008/mar2/player.html

 * June 2008   HAMPTON ROADS – Virginia HIM *RCTO 

     http://hrtpo.org/Documents/Reports/2008/RCTOExecSummFinalCopy.pdf

 OBJECTIVE # 1

Increase Responder Safety by Eliminating Struck –by incidents and Fatalities

Ensuring the safety of responders is a great concern in regard to HIM. If Highway incident scenes are not secure , then the ability of responders to work in a safe environment is severely compromised.  This results in not only higher numbers of responder injuries, but undermines any attempt to reduce the time it takes to clear highway incidents.

 TARGET

Increase Responder Safety by Eliminating Struck –by incidents and Fatalities

 The target represents what the RCTO Working Group considers to be the only logical number in reference to responder safety.. No injuries or fatality incurring during the incident management process should ever be considered ACCEPTABLE

Economic Impact  loss of a  Responder : Costs apply to both the victims of the primary incident and any responders who may be involved in a secondary incident and include, but are not necessarily limited to Property damage, Medical cost, Emergency services cost, Investigation cost, Legal cost, Vocational rehabilitation, Replacement employees, Disability/Retirement income, Market productivity reduction, Insurance administration, Travel delay, Psychosocial impact.  

* “National studies indicate that secondary crashes account for over 20 percent of all crashes. The  USDOT estimates that 18 percent of the fatalities occurring on interstates are due to secondary crashes.” – South Carolina Department of Transportation

 *   2007  NUG     http://www.transportation.org/sites/ntimc/docs/NUG%20Unified%20Goal-Nov07.pdf

 • Responder safety;

• Safe, quick clearance; and

• Prompt, reliable, interoperable communications

 Towers Hook – Pat Gratzianna

Patrick Gratzianna is a towing and recovery safety consultant that writes a monthly safety column in Tow Times magazine.  For more information on this or other topics, he can be reached at pgratz@midwestfleetsafety.com.    

Three People on the Side of the Road

When working on the shoulder of a busy expressway, highway or freeway, there are three (3) people that every professional towing operator should be looking out for; their customer, the other driver and themselves.

The Customer

Towing operators understand the hazards they face on the side of the road and do what they can to minimize their risks.  But what about the customer?  In most cases this may be the first time they’ve ever been stranded in this dangerous situation and quite honestly, they may not be aware of how unsafe it actually is.  As a professional tower, if the situation allows, take a second to educate your customer on where to stand, where to sit and what to do in case of a crash. 

 The Other Driver

When approaching the emergency scene, the oncoming driver may or may NOT see the towing operator until it’s too late.  Because of these situations, it is the tower’s responsibility to make sure they are doing everything they can to establish a safe work area including having and using adequate emergency lighting, wearing conspicuous safety gear and providing as much advance warning as possible with reflective warning triangles or traffic cones. 

The Towing Operator

In most cases, the last person a towing operator looks out for should usually be the first; THEMSELVES.  When working on the side of a busy roadway, the towers should protect themselves with MUTCD-compliant retro-reflective gear, they should maintain situational awareness and work with a purpose to limit their time in this hazardous environment.

 Roadside safety is hard to plan because there are so many variables but there is no excuse for not preparing your truck, your equipment and you.  Take safety seriously.

News and Notes

2010 LODD

  • Police Officers – 162
  • Fire Fighters – 86
  • EMS – 34

2011  LODD

Upcoming Events

Are you scheduling a TIM meeting or conference?  If so, let us help with electronic registration.  The TIM Network will setup a specific electronic registration for your event, provide you with the link and provide you with the meeting roster.  All attendee information is safe and secure and will not be distributed.  Email me to find out how to use electronic meeting registration from the TIM Network.

 Getting Involved

1.       Facebook – ResponderSafety –  http://www.facebook.com/roadwaysafety

2.      Twitter – ResponderSafety – http://twitter.com/Respondersafety

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