The Responder September 2016

Message from the New TIM Network Liaison

There have been many projects and activities involving TIM over the summer.  These projects will, without a doubt, move TIM into the future.  For TIM programs to continue to grow and to be recognized we must work to build the business case for TIM.  More on that in a little while.

World Fashion Day was celebrated (not sure how much celebration) in August.  To recognize that day I asked for photos of responders in their latest high fashion PPE.  Sadly, I didn’t receive any photos.  I know that there are many new types and styles of compliant high visibility clothing and other PPE being used across the country, and around the world.  Please take a minute to send us some photos of your personnel in their PPE for the next article.

I also requested photos of police cars, fire trucks, tow trucks, DOT vehicles, and other vehicles that are being used to provide effective TIM. I immediately received a reply from Lt. Randy Cockerham of East Whiteland Volunteer Fire Association, Chester County Station 5, Chester County, Pennsylvania.  He provided photos and information on their traffic control unit.  These are included in this edition of The Responder.  Again, there are many examples of specialized equipment being utilized for TIM activities across the country and around the world.  If you could take a minute and send some photos as an example to the membership it would be greatly appreciated.

I don’t think I can overstate the importance of sharing the photos and information on PPE and equipment used for TIM activities.  The lives of our members could depend on this valuable information.


September is recognized as National Preparedness Month (NPM) which serves as a reminder that we all must take action to prepare, now and throughout the year, for the types of emergencies that could affect us where we live, work, and also where we visit. Due to the success of last year’s theme, “Don’t Wait, Communicate. Make Your Emergency Plan Today,” will be returning for this September with a continuing emphasis on preparedness for youth, older adults, and people with disabilities and others with access and functional needs.  The website for National Preparedness Month is: .

The need to be prepared is apparent across the country, daily.  Whether it is due to weather, such as the flooding that has occurred recently, earthquakes, such as the quake in the Midwest recently, or other emergencies, we must prepare.  We all need a preparedness plan that our families are familiar with and have practiced.  And, remember to plan for your pets in the event of emergencies.


Many of our TIM Network members are involved in National Preparedness Month activities.  Please share your activities with the entire membership. I will include them in the next edition of The Responder.  You can send information and photos to .

Thank you for taking the time help make America more prepared for all types of emergencies.

In my work I have the good fortune to work with responders in all disciplines in many locations across the country.  Last month I instructed two different SHRP2 National TIM Responder Training Program courses in Pennsylvania.  The first was at the Pennsylvania Statewide Traffic Management Center in Harrisburg.  This was the training course for Dispatchers and TMC Personnel.  This training was very well received, and more training sessions are to be scheduled.  Remember, the Dispatchers and TMC Operators are the real “first responders”, they just don’t leave the center.  And, they deal with the same “D” drivers that responders on the street deal with, they just get them first.


The second course was the 4-hour course for responders that we conducted at the Alexandria Volunteer Fire Company, in Alexandria, Pennsylvania.  The session was hosted by the Huntingdon County Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC).  The training was conducted as part of an LEPC Summit.  The attendees included personnel from fire and EMS, HazMat, emergency communications, towing and others.  In addition to the classroom session, a hands-on session in traffic control and response was conducted the following day.  It was a great group of people who truly are dedicated to the safety of their personnel and others.

It seems that, no matter where I go, the issues for responders are the same.  These issues include getting the training to personnel, especially volunteer agencies.  Finding the time for the training in an already packed training schedule.  Towing companies having the time available to take drivers off the road for the training.  And one big issue, attrition.

In order to provide training to volunteer agencies, such as fire departments, EMS, LEPC, and others, the training must be conducted when personnel are available.  That usually means that the training must be conducted in the evening or on weekends.  As trainers, we must make ourselves available to conduct these training sessions based on the demand of the students.  Volunteer agencies want the training as much or more than others.  But they also have jobs that make it difficult to attend a class during the day.

During the training in Alexandria I had an opportunity to talk with the owner of a towing company that operates in the area who does mostly heavy towing and recovery.  In talking with the tower, he expressed the same issue that we hear in other areas.  He said that he believes in TIM and has worked to clear the highways as quickly and safely as possible for his entire career.  He has been in the towing business for 40 years this year.  He said that, when “rapid clearance” was first discussed and implemented many years ago he was on board.  However, many of the police officers, troopers, fire and EMS personnel have moved on.  He said that they have had to work to train the new personnel who moved into the positions so that they could clear the highways quickly and safely.  This has occurred more than once in his career.

Attrition is a problem with many programs, especially with TIM.  With any “champion based” program there will be issues with transition when the champion is no longer there.  This is why it is so important that we continue our work to institutionalize TIM.  I have been in the public safety field for 40 years.  Up until the last few years, the traffic control and response training in most police and fire academies has been unchanged.  In the meantime, there has been constant change in traffic volumes and patterns, and in societal attitudes.  We must continue to work to get TIM training into all of our training programs, no matter the discipline.

And that brings me back to building the business case for TIM.  Most police officers, firefighters, EMS personnel, and DOT personnel are typically not involved in building a business case.  However, the towing industry is very familiar with the need for this.  If you can’t continually show the need for a business it is likely to fail.  It is no longer enough for us express the need for TIM based solely upon the obvious safety issues for our personnel.  While those of us who are working at incidents on our highways every day understand the need, we must be able to “sell” the necessity of TIM to those who don’t work at these incidents.  While that may sound like a daunting task, there are tools at our disposal to help us accomplish it.   These tools come to us in the form of Performance Measures.

We need to accurately track and document Roadway Clearance Time, Incident Clearance Time and Secondary Crash data.  By accurately capturing this data we can provide the economic impact and environmental impact of incidents.  By providing examples of the cost of incidents, both in lives and dollars, and the savings that TIM can provide, we build a strong business case for TIM.  But, it takes all of us.  We must provide accurate, timely information to communications centers, traffic management systems and in crash reporting.  In areas where this data has been captured the value of TIM programs and activities are obvious.  This needs to be part of everyday practice, procedure and policy for all disciplines.  We must be able to show the business case for TIM to continue the movement into the future.

We continue to update the TIM Network database.  In the last month or so we have added over 100 new members.  Most of these were registered following training sessions or workshops.  We really need to continue the membership drive to increase our membership.

I am going to continue to challenge everyone to promote membership in the TIM Network.  Please forward The Responder to others in your organization who are not members, and to others outside your organization who would be interested in becoming members of the TIM Network.  Again, the continued safety of our personnel, in every discipline, depends on all of us sharing best practices, training, ideas, and lessons learned.  Membership is free, and the benefits of being a member can be lifesaving.

Please pass the Responder along to at least one person and encourage them to join.

Remember to forward information about your programs, best practices, training and other information for inclusion in The Responder.  We know that there are best practices around the country that we can share with everyone.  We are always looking for information from all disciplines that will benefit us all.  Please contact me if you have questions or would like to provide information for an article.

Please be safe as you work to make our highways safer.  Take care of your partners.  Make sure that you have their back.  Make a commitment to work closer with all responders in your area to improve the safety of all personnel.  Promote the training of all personnel daily as you do your jobs, no matter the discipline.

Remember, the goal is for everyone to go home at the end of the day, every day.  You all set an example for the public when you are working.  Make sure that it is a good example.

Stay safe.


Rusty James

TIM Network Liaison


View from the Street

By Eric Reddeck, NFFF Everyone Goes Home Advocate

The  Virginia Statewide Traffic Incident Management Committee  has a new website. Joining  TIM Programs  websites from  Arizona , California, Connecticut, Florida,  Georgia ,  Illinois, Indiana, Kansas/Missouri, Kentucky
Maryland, Michigan, Nevada ,Ohio , Oregon , Pennsylvania, Delaware, Puerto Rico, Tennessee , Washington and Wisconsin.

Responder Safety Learning Network
National Unified Goal (NUG)  the road map for implementing multi-agency and multi-jurisdictional cooperation, collaboration and communication to ensure consistent, coordinated traffic incident management.
NFFF Fire Learning Network
After Action Review (AAR) offers the opportunity to formalize the tradition of informal post-incident conversations into a simple, but systematic, guided process of analyzing, refining, and improving incident response. (follows Military Program. Does your TIM have a written AAR program guide)
 Sept 7-11 2016  Towers Hall of Fame Induction Weekend Schedule
  • Firefighter Life Safety Initiative #13 Update This fall, the Behavioral Health team will be launching several new resources to provide the fire service and their families with access to counseling and psychological support.
                  2016 Killed in the Line of Duty   *all causes*

Police Officers   78
Firefighters       54
EMS      ?           4+
Towers  ?          6+
DOT Workers    ?

Eric Reddeck

NFFF Everyone Goes Home Advocate

Emergency Equipment Photos

In the last edition of The Responder I asked for photos of emergency equipment utilized by agencies or organizations for Traffic Incident Management.  I got one immediate response from

Randy Cockerham of East Whiteland Fire in Chester County, Pennsylvania.

According to Randy, the Tactical Special Fire Police Unit provides traffic control and fire police services under the direction of local police and state police. Traffic 5 has a traffic direction arrow-board, light tower, 80 traffic cones, barricades, various signs, electronic flares, lighted highway flares, early warning signs, incident communications and basic EMS equipment.

East Whiteland Fire provides service on the U.S. Route 202 Expressway, U.S. Route 30, and many rural roadways. They are about 25 miles due west of Philadelphia.  Their unit is one of the most active in Chester County, and they are heavily involved in all TIM operations.

The photos that Randy sent are included in this edition.


Contact information:

Tommy Cockerham, Captain

Randy Cockerham, Lieutenant


4 5

Check out the link below for more information on National Preparedness Month!


Arrow 1


Being asked to write an article on a towing topic, I first wanted to review previous articles in the TIM Network Responder to make sure I was providing appropriate content.  As I looked at the monthly focus for the September issue, I was reminded of Towing and Recovery Week.  In 2014, the State of Tennessee made a special proclamation, stating:

The week that includes the third Saturday in September shall be observed as “Towing and Recovery Week” in this state, to be proclaimed as such by the governor, to honor the thousands of operators, manufacturers, suppliers, and other dedicated men and women who serve our state’s motoring public with courtesy and courage while promoting safety on our roads and highways.

As well, the Wall of the Fallen, the memorial for those in the industry involved in fatality accidents on the job, will have their ceremony September 10th this year.  The list of names of the men and women lost in the towing industry will again get longer.  As a reminder, the Towing Industry loses more of our personnel to struck-by incidents on a yearly basis than any other discipline in the First Responder community.  As I type this, I am remembering the hundreds of tow trucks that came out for the funerals for two men killed on the roadside in the span of a few days in August; David Duchnic and Jeff Clovis.  Both of these men were killed on another “routine” call, the same call we’ve all done hundreds of times.

Lately, I’ve been working on some steps here at the towing company I work for, to make a new routine.  Like most others, our routine used to be “that’s the way we’ve always done it”.  But now, we’re taking a different approach to how we respond to our everyday incidents.  Arrow Towing is a 40+ truck company, having operated for about as many years.  We respond to approximately (best estimate) between 40,000 and 50,000 tow calls every year.  Talk about exposure!  I feel fortunate, after seeing those numbers, that we haven’t had any struck-by incidents of a serious nature.  But we’re not leaving it to luck.  Arrow’s fleet has been growing over the last few years to include some less-than traditional pieces of towing equipment.  The first unit was a retired heavy rescue fire truck.  We’ve taken this truck and made it fit our needs fairly simply.  The truck came with a light tower, rescue tools, and all the storage we could jam full.

Arrow 2

This truck highlights a feature we’ve added over the last four years to our trucks; full retro-reflective vinyl graphics.  The trucks show up brilliantly, both day and night.  We are now moving to the lime and red chevrons on the rear of our trucks as well, while still incorporating our logo.

In addition, we’ve added a full line of equipment needed for closing lanes during emergencies.  We have signs, cones, arrow boards, channelizing drums, and we are in the process of purchasing our first truck mounted attenuator.  I am very excited about this new arrival. I hope to offer this truck as a blocking vehicle for not only long-term events, but as a daily use item for those high-risk tows and service calls along the Omaha/Council Bluffs metro highways, where our crews are putting themselves at risk to those “D” drivers we all know too well.

Arrow 3

But visibility isn’t the only area of our “routine” that we’re changing.  We realize that for every minute we remove ourselves from the highway, we are reducing our exposure and risk.  Based on this, we have trained nearly all our personnel in the SHRP2 National Traffic Incident Management for Responders practices, as well as regular training in towing and recovery techniques.  This will undoubtedly speed the process along where possible.  We have held several joint trainings with law enforcement, fire departments, and local DOT in our area as well.  It sure puts a lot more faith in the process when you know who’s watching your back.

As we work to keep our training state-of-the-art, we try to keep our towing equipment that way, too.  Arrow currently has three “rotators” in its fleet of heavy recovery vehicles.  For those of you not familiar, rotating wreckers work in much the same fashion as a truck crane, but with the added ability to pull vehicles from tight spots, and tow them away.  I encourage everyone to reach out to the tow companies in your area, check out the equipment and resources that they offer, and establish relationships and friendships with the towers.  (Beware: once you get a tower talking about his equipment, it might be hard to get him to stop!)

In order to further satisfy the needs of our area, we’ve made new partnerships, trying to break the old routines.  Partnerships with Environmental Contractors have paved the way for us to provide a one-call service for our customers, being able to complete a job from initial crash response to remediation, including replacing dirt and grass in torn-up road ditches.  We have developed partnerships with divers and fire department rescue crews.  This has led to the providing of new, unconventional services, providing crucial knowledge and equipment for these types of rescues and recoveries.

Arrow 5

Arrow and the people I’ve met through my career, have provided me with ideas and materials to help promote an increased level of safety, not only through the towing industry, but to responders of all disciplines.  While we take time to reflect on those lost this year from our industry, take time to evaluate that daily routine also.  Look for ways to improve your methods, your appearance, and most of all, your chances of going home safe to those waiting for you.


Tony Carr is the Operations Manager for Arrow Towing in the Omaha/Council Bluffs area.  He serves on the Board of both the Nebraska and Iowa tow associations.  He is involved in the Statewide TIM Committee in Iowa, and is a SHRP2 National TIM for Responders instructor.


Arrow Towing, Inc.

3112 S. 67th St., Omaha, NE 68106

505 S. 15th St., Council Bluffs, IA 51501

Tel (402)553-1700 Fax (402)553-5150

Tel (712)323-7907 Fax (712)256-8644

Arrow Logo

WICHway’s Experience in Traffic Incident Management


WICHway pic

WICHway is the Intelligent Transportation System (ITS) for the highway network in Wichita, Kansas. It is owned and operated by the Kansas Department of Transportation in cooperation with many partners including Sedgwick County, City of Wichita, Kansas Highway Patrol, Kansas Turnpike Authority, Wichita Area Metropolitan Planning Organization, and Federal Highway Administration.

The WICHway network has 35 closed circuit cameras, 43 traffic sensors and 21 dynamic message signs. A Traffic Management Center at the Sedgwick County Public Safety Building is operated Monday – Friday, 6 a.m. – 7 p.m. with 911 operators at the control console.

While Wichita, Kansas, is a relative newcomer to the Traffic Incident Management (TIM) arena they have already seen great strides in improvement regarding incident clearance times, roadway clearance times and secondary crashes.  The average incident time dropped over two hours since 2013 simply by implementing strategies from the SHRP2 National Traffic Incident Management for Responders Train- the-Trainer (TtT) program.  The Wichita Fire Department hosted the TtT event at their training academy after having two of their first responders, and a Sedgwick County EMT, struck while working a roadside event.  After hosting the TtT event, the Wichita Fire Department trained all of their first responders in the following two months.  Over 400 members of the Wichita Fire Department, as well as first responders from other agencies, participated in the TIM training.

Since this initial training, and other subsequent training sessions in the area, first responders throughout the Wichita area have implemented safe quick clearance principles.  This has resulted in decreased incident clearance time, and improved safety and communications between all disciplines.  While the TIM program is essentially modeled around Traffic Incident Management best practices from across the country, the Wichita TIM meetings utilize local performance measures to guide the program.  These include incident clearance times, roadway clearance times and secondary crashes.  In addition, GIS “heat maps” are utilized to confirm crash patterns and likely enforcement areas.

The TIM meetings are held bi-monthly.  The process of utilizing the combined focus of working through any issues brought up by the group and reviewing performance measure data has proven extremely effective.  This data is also utilized to target enforcement areas to help mitigate incident hot spots.

Slade Engstrom, PE

TranSystems, WICHway


Move Over Awareness

You can go on any website, blog or social media site and see the promotion of Move Over Laws for the towing and recovery industry.  This promotion of the inclusion of towing in the Move Over Laws are almost all conducted by the towing industry.  Federal and state level funding is not available for the towing industry for this type of activities.  Unless there is corporate sponsorship, such as sponsorship by insurance companies, the towing industry must fund these efforts themselves.  There has been some assistance from AAA, Allstate, State Farm, USAA and other insurance companies in the form of Public Service Announcements and other media assistance, however, there is much more that needs to be done.

As the Executive Director of the International Towing & Recovery Museum, the home to the only Memorial Wall for Fallen Towers, I am constantly reminded of the loss of lives each year in the towing industry.  Towing professionals are often the first responder to incidents on our highways, yet they have the least protection legally than any of the other responders.  There will be 22 names added to the memorial wall on September 10th, 2016. This is not a true indication of how many we lost, just how many were sent to us. We have lost six in the last three weeks.

The towing industry has come a long way over the years from never being included in Traffic Incident Management (TIM) programs to sitting at the same table with heads of national governmental entities.  We want to be a part of this movement and we are willing to do what it takes by educating our staff to being politically involved.

So, the next time you have a TIM meeting in your area to discuss incidents on the highways, disasters, to conduct the SHRP2 National Traffic Incident Management for Responders training, or to conduct technical training in incident stabilization / extrication I ask you to include your local professional tower.

The towing industry does make a difference, like we are doing right now in New Orleans.  The towing industry is assisting insurance companies and FEMA by removing flood damaged cars, delivering generators to those without power and other live saving work.


Angela Roper is the Executive Director of the International Towing & Recovery Museum, located in Chattanooga, Tennessee.



California Department of Transportation employee, father of three killed in roadside crash.

Jim McGee


Please see the links below for the FHWA National Traffic Incident Management Responder Training Status Report and Implementation Progress Maps. 

TIM Training Status Maps – 082216

TIM Training Status Report – 082216

See the link below from the ATSSA to register for High-Quality Roadway Safety Training Courses

Request for Information / Best Practices

Thanks to the network of people that has been created by the TIM Network, a friend of mine from the Kansas City area, Randy Fleming with Jackson County Tow Service, referred Daniel Wade to the TIM Network for information.

Daniel is with Tony’s Towing in Fairhope, Alabama.  He requested information on TIM plans and quick clearance programs for bridges and tunnels.  There is a need for this information in the Mobile, Alabama area.  The bridge is on I-10, and is known as the “Bayway” Bridge.  The tunnel is the Wallace Tunnel.

According to Daniel, there are plans for a new bridge, without tunnels, but it will be years at best before that is completed.  He said that he was not sure of the exact design capacity of the bridge and tunnel, but he thought it may be in the 50,000 vehicles per day range.  Both carry almost double what they are designed to carry, according to Daniel.

He is asking for any information from around the country regarding TIM plans and Quick Clearance programs.  The bridge is eight miles long with a bottle neck and tunnel.  The delays can be well into hours as a result of a simple fender bender.  This is partially due to a tow rotation system that doesn’t have any incentive for quick clearance.

Tony’s Towing has been approached for suggestions regarding these issues.  They would like information on best practices from other areas.  In particular, any areas where a quick clearance incentive plan, such as RISK or TRIP, has been implemented for towing.  They are also interested in information on any other local level highway authority that has taken over a highway to prevent delays.

Any information that can be provided would be greatly appreciated.

After Daniel contacted me he also joined the TIM Network.  Thanks for joining, Daniel.

Daniel Wade can be contacted at .

Register for the 8th Annual Women in Public Service Conference, September 21-22, 2016!

Please see attached registration form below.


We are excited to share with you the confirmed speakers for this year’s WIPS Conference, “Building Bridges to Excellence”. Registration opens July 15, with “early bird” registration savings available through August 15! We hope you will join us. If you have questions, contact the conference chair at the following email address,>.

TIME Task Force Conference – Call for Presentations 

Please see the attached information for the TIME Task Force Conference taking place on October 24th-25th, 2016!

TIME call for conference presentations

2016 TIME Sponsor and Exhibitor

2016 Silent Auction

High-Quality Roadway Safety Training Courses from the American Traffic Safety Services Association (ATSSA)

Fire Service Online Training Free with Certificates

Please see the link below to access the free training.

Job Opportunity:

Friends and Colleagues:

Please spread the word and let me know if you are aware of anyone who may be interested in the below position.

Traffic Incident Management Center (TMC) Manager – Florida Panhandle, Chipley

  • The TMC Manager is a full time management position (Gannett Fleming employee), and directs the daily operations activities of the TMC in accordance with the Policies and Procedures Manual (PPM) and Concept of Operations (COO), the Department’s protocols and policies and is responsible for the overall operations and functionality of the TMC Operations Floor.
  • Leads and manages contract on-site staff to include supervisors and operators. Conducts performance reviews and in coordination with the GF PM, corrects performance issues, when necessary.
  • The TMC manager is responsible for ensuring that the goals and strategies of the TMC operations plan are followed.
  • Conducts the day-to-day management of the TMC staff and resources including problem resolution concerning TMC operations.


Any interested person may contact me or go the Gannett Fleming web site for detailed information.

Terry Hensley

In the News of TIM

Alabama: Springville police officer injured when cruiser struck from behind on I-59


Near Miss Report Credits with Helping to Prevent Injury to Firefighters


Police fatality report: Car accidents among top cause of death


TIM Network/FHWA Knowledge Management System (KMS) 

The TIM Network coupled with the Federal Highway Administration has launched a new TIM Knowledge Management System. We encourage all TIM Network members to submit articles, resources, and any other general TIM information that could help practitioners across the nation. As seen below, these featured articles will be included in The Responder. Don’t be afraid to submit!

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