The Responder October 2016

Message from the New TIM Network Liaison

I have had the good fortune to conduct a number of TIM-related workshops and several TIM responder courses around the country in the last couple of months. I am always honored to meet the responders who are out there working every day to keep our roadways safer, and those who work tirelessly in the background to provide the necessary resources for responders.  The world is a better place because of the work that all of you do.

World Teacher’s Day is in October.  As I was thinking about this, I was reminded of all the teachers in my life who I look up to and respect.  And I think about what they taught me, or attempted to teach me.  I was not always the best student.  These teachers shared the same qualities.  They were dedicated and believed in what they were teaching.  They respected the students and wanted to make sure that everyone understood the subject.  These teachers were really mentors and all took into consideration the different needs and learning styles of their students.  More than anything else, they were leaders who led by example and set good, positive examples for the students to follow.  Many of these teachers were in classrooms, but many were not, yet all taught me about life.  They instilled in me the importance of having a good work ethic and to instill these things in others.

As we continue to provide instruction to responders across the country, and around the world, we should all look back on how we learned from the teachers in our lives.  When we are working to improve the safety of responders, we need to remember the important things in our teachings.  Provide instruction in the way that we all appreciated, making sure that our students can see our dedication to their safety.  I have never taught a class in which everyone learned in the same way or at the same speed.  We are all different and we have different needs.  As instructors, or teachers, we must prepare to provide the best instruction that we can to all of our students.  Having a student fail, or not completely understand the subject, should never be an option.

I have been presenting many subjects, to students from varied backgrounds, for more than 30 years.  I have enjoyed the role of teacher and mentor; it has given me an opportunity to pass on to others what I have learned in my lifetime.  As I put these words on the computer screen, I could not help but remember so many teachers in my past.  Some are still teaching, some retired and some have passed.  I always try to thank them for what they have done for me when I get the opportunity.  And I regret not taking the time to thank those who are gone.  We are who we are because of the things we have learned in our life, and we owe that to our teachers, those in the classroom and those who have just taught us about life.

This advice is important when instructing all subjects, especially TIM.  We need instructors who truly believe in what they teach.  We need dedicated and professional instructors who understand the difference in everyone and are able to provide instruction in a way that all students benefit.  We must all be leaders and provide good examples for our students.  We must lead by example, always mindful of those who we are leading.  “Do as I say, not as I do” is not an acceptable way to teach or lead.

Be the type of teacher and leader that people will remember and strive to imitate.  As we move TIM into the future, we need more champions who are leaders, and more leaders who are champions.  And, take the time to thank the teachers in your life.

Included in this edition is an article from  The article talks about dispatchers and communications personnel, and some incidents that occurred recently.  One of the topics in the article is the suicide of firefighters.  You can change the discipline to law enforcement, EMS, DOT, towing and others.  October 10th is designated as World Mental Health Day by World Federation for Mental Health.  The day is set aside for global mental health education, awareness and advocacy.

In the response community, we all must respond to and deal with things that no one should have to deal with.  We all deal with these things differently.  Some people do not seem to be bothered by some of the horrible things we see, and some people are changed for life by incidents.  I have experienced things in my career that have changed who I am.  Some for better, but some I have had to have help dealing with.  Had it not been for the care and concern of others around me, I might not have gotten the help that I needed.  I am thankful for the concern of others and the help that was provided to me by professionals in dealing with some of these incidents.

We all know someone in our life who is struggling with some type of issue.  I recently spoke with someone and made sure that they understood that I was there to help them.  I offered to listen or find someone for them to talk to.  I told them that I care about them, and want to help them with what they are going through.  I also made sure that they knew that I did not want to be someone who said, “I wish I would have said or done something”.

While we don’t have much control over what we get sent to and experience, we do have some control over how we deal with it.  We need to know that our response to an incident is a normal response to a terribly abnormal situation.  And we may need some help as we deal with it.  And, we need to remember that something that did not bother us may a devastating effect on someone else.  No two people perceive an incident the same.

In every issue of The Responder you hear me telling everyone to take care of your partner, make sure that you have their back.  This is so important when it comes to issues of mental health.  I know in law enforcement, and I suspect in all of the other disciplines as well, there is no hesitation to treat personnel for health issues such as high blood pressure, cholesterol, diabetes and other physical conditions.  It is not given a second thought.  However, if someone is in need of some help in dealing with issues in their life that involve their mental health they are less likely to seek help because of the stigma of these issues.  Take the time to listen to those who you care about and work with.  If you believe someone needs help dealing with some issue in their life, do what you can to help them.  I owe much of this advice to Lt. Col. David Grossman.  I only wish I had spoken with him early in my career.

Coming up in November is National Traffic Incident Management (TIM) Awareness Week.  This will be the third week in November, November 13th through the 18th.  The goal of the National TIM Awareness Week is to highlight the value of TIM to a number of different audiences.  We especially want to make the public aware of TIM efforts across the country.  Please let us know how you plan to promote TIM in your community.  There will be more on National TIM Awareness Week in the next issue.

I am happy to say that in the past month or so, we have added approximately 130 new members to the TIM Network.  Most of these were added at workshops and training sessions.  I have created a form that can be used to register new members when you are conducting training sessions or workshops.  The form could then be sent back to me in E-mail to complete the registration.  To all our new members, Welcome!

Until next month, watch out for each other.  Our lives are quite often in each other’s hands.


Rusty James

TIM Network Liaison



View from the Street

By Eric Reddeck, NFFF Everyone Goes Home Advocate

If your region and each city/county  does not have a written Traffic Incident Management Plan you are spinning your wheel!  Why do I say that because, the nature of First Responders is to follow written policies.  City roadways have different responder groups than interstate highways where the State Police, State Dot will  respond,  and on city streets City Police, Public Works, City Traffic Engineers for Signal Control along with Fire, EMS, and Towing will respond.  It is much easier for the powers to be sit down and agree on a city plan, than it is to respond to City Council and the press for a major traffic incident that  turned your city into a parking lot.                               ***

Safe Highways Fall 2016   Every transportation program, service, and initiative requires a measurement of performance to determine value and success. We must ask ourselves: Is this program delivering on its objectives? What metrics define success? Are there areas for improvement? What is the public perception of said program, service, or initiative?

Oct 8-9, 2016 National Fallen Firefighters Memorial Weekend.  Join the U.S. Fire Service in honoring the lives of 79 firefighters who died in the line of duty in 2015 and 33 firefighters who died in previous years during the 35th National Fallen Firefighters Memorial Service

2016 Killed in the Line of Duty   *all causes*

Police Officers   93
Firefighters       67
EMS      ?           6+
Towers  ?          7+
DOT Workers    ?

 Eric Reddeck
NFFF Everyone Goes Home Advocate


The 43rd Annual Arizona Fire School was a success! 



Sergeant John Paul Cartier from the Arizona Department of Public Safety speaks to 1,000 firefighters on September 8, 2016 at the fire school in Mesa, AZ.


Arizona Professional Towing & Recovery Association is hosting their APTRA Annual Move Over Awareness Day & Tow Truck Parade –

Saturday, October 29th, 6:00 AM to 3:00 PM

See flyer below for more details on this year’s Annual Move Over Awareness Day and Tow Truck Parade!



Last year there were 92 tow trucks in a parade across Phoenix to raise awareness for the dangers facing our tow operators each time they respond to a call adjacent to moving traffic. Our industry loses an operator almost every 6 days nationwide to struck by accidents and we are working in collaboration with all first responders to reduce that number and protect our tow operators in the field. We host a mini tow show at the parade destination that includes demonstrations, vendor exhibits, a tow truck show and shine, and fun activities for the whole family.

Please visit for more information on the event

The following article is attributed to – Home of the Secret List – William Goldfeder.

This article includes two issues that responders face daily.  First, dispatchers or communications personnel, no matter the job title, have a tough job.  When it comes to TIM, they get the “D” drivers or motorists first.  And, they are really the first responders.  Rarely do they get the credit that they deserve.  In all matters, they provide invaluable support to all responders.  Whenever you get a chance, let the dispatchers know how much you appreciate them.

Second, our responders, including communications personnel, see and experience things each day that no one should have to experience.  We continue to lose responders in our country at an alarming rate.  Take an opportunity to talk with those you work with, let them know if you are struggling in any way.

Take care of each other.  Cover your backs.



It’s been a very bad week with the suicide of at least two Firefighters, the Line of Duty deaths of Wilmington Firefighters Lt. Christopher Leach, Firefighter Jerry Fickes and FDNY Deputy Fire Chief Michael Fahy. Our continued condolences to all those suffering due to these horrible losses.

Among so many factors at any working fire are the folks who know about the incidents coming in well before we do-the dispatchers. Mostly known as dispatchers but also communications technicians, telecommunicators, call takers, fire alarm dispatchers-whatever term your area uses-they are the ones that take the call and stay with us throughout the entire incident.

Dispatchers take a beating at many levels. Callers dialing 9-1-1…fire, EMS and police officers on the radio…poor working hours/conditions…poor training…and many other aspects.  And EVERYONE knows that they themselves can definitely do a better job than those damn dispatchers.

Tire Screech. 

Not so fast there, Sherlock.

Until you spend some time on the 9-1-1 call boards actually taking that 9-1-1 call from the woman whose beloved 90 year old husband didn’t wake up…the girl who was just physically assaulted…the Mom whose kid was found caught in the drapery cord…..or the Dad whose kids bedroom is on fire….you have no clue.

Until you are on the radio when some lunatic fire officer is verbally annoyed because the power company has no eta for wires down in a hurricane…until you keep trying to dispatch a volunteer FD that is unable to turn out on a run-with no response….until you have to dispatch 20 different FD’s, 5 EMS agencies and 15 police departments all with “their own” policies….you have no clue.

And until there is a MAYDAY. You have no clue.

We have advocated for years that dispatchers-in their initial and continuing training-should spend some real time in the field riding with the units they will be dispatching for. When your department is training on ICS-the dispatchers should be an active part of the training. When you are doing fire simulations-the dispatchers should be part of that. Dispatchers are an integral part of every fire scene.

We have equally advocated that all probationary firefighters, EMT’s and cops should be required to spend shifts in the dispatch center-right alongside those dispatchers-so they fully understand what is done in the field. Anything less creates an “unknown” and we humans pretty much fear the “unknown.”

When Firefighters become Officers and Officers become Chiefs-some “ride along” time in the dispatcher center is critical because that dispatcher truly becomes the incident commanders “right hand” during the best – and worst – moments. Good relations and an understanding of the job can only increase the survivability and leadership of any fire ground.



In the past week, thousands of dispatchers have done an amazing job-a job we-on the other side of the radio-take for granted. Kind of like turning on a light and expecting electricity or turning on a hydrant and expecting water. We take it for granted-and we really shouldn’t. There should be systems in place to assure that the stuff will work right. That 9-1-1 will work…that tones will activate…that policies and the dispatchers will anticipate our needs…that fire companies will turnout quickly with good staffing…that when you call on the radio, dispatch answers. You know what I mean.

And while thousands of dispatchers do a phenomenal job every day, we want to focus on the New Castle County (DE), the NYPD and the FDNY Dispatchers. The New Castle County Emergency Communications Center along with the NYPD’s “Central” Dispatchers and FDNY’s Fire Alarm Dispatchers set the example of professionalism this week for all the world to hear.

It was “the worst day” for those fire departments-and their dispatchers were right there along with them-every second that went by. They knew and did their jobs as you will listen below. They anticipated needs and took actions. They created an environment so that the incident commanders didn’t have to worry about that aspect of the situation.

Listen intently to it all. Pass it on to your Dispatchers no matter who or what agency dispatches your fire department-and to their bosses as well. Force feed it if you have to. These are “must listen” events.

And while investigations are hardly complete, listen to “Battalion 19” on the FDNY audio-as we all know now, the Chief was tragically down-but no one who wasn’t at the scene knew that initially-yet command was never lost thanks to solid Firefighters who were trained to step in – in those “what if” scenarios. Once again, under tragic circumstances, we all have some learning opportunities.


(FDNY 10-Codes: )

(NYPD 10-Codes: )



Our condolences to the families, friends, firefighters, dispatchers, EMT’s, police officers and others who are suffering the loss of Wilmington Firefighters Lt. Christopher Leach, Firefighter Jerry Fickes and FDNY Deputy Chief Michael Fahy. RIP.

Take Care. Be Careful. Pass It On.



The Secret List 10-1-2016-1230 Hours

Traffic Forum – Jim McGee 

Everyday Heroes Needed – trafficforum

Highly Automated Vehicles (HAVs) Drive Changes in State Law

Additional Articles:

See link below for the Kansas Department of Transportation’s On the Road  Newsletter!


The Law Enforcement Liaison (LEL) Traffic Stop – September 23, 2016


The Law Enforcement Liaison (LEL) Traffic Stop – September 30, 2016


NHTSA Officer Safety Initiatives – Heather’s Story

Part-Time Position on the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) Headquarters’ Office of Transportation Operations- Traffic Incident & Events Management Team 

FHWA is recruiting for a highly qualified individual to fill a part-time position (20 hours/week) to support the Traffic Incident & Events Management Team.  The advertisement is opened to all citizens and/or current/former Federal employees with Status and Veterans and closes on October 17The announcement indicates that the ideal candidate will be a mid- to late-career transportation safety and/or traffic operations professional, with experience from civilian city, county, tribal, State or Federal law enforcement organizations and experience derived from work in highway safety, accident reconstruction, planning, or enforcement of highway laws.

It is really important that any serious candidate understands that (1) it is a part-time position (20 hours/week) and as such, (2) the pay is 50% of what is advertised (Salary Range:  $92,145.00 to $141,555.00 / Per Year).  So the real salary range for a ½ time person will range $46,000 to $70,500 per annum.  This was misunderstood in the first recruitment, so we want to ensure that prospective candidates understand this when they are applying.  Relocation is authorized; therefore, there is funding to move the selected candidate to the DC Metro area.

The job announcement can be found at Direct links area as follows:




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 .

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.

In the News of TIM

Maryland: Three officers assisting in crashes struck by cars on MD highway


Idaho: Road construction worker struck by vehicle


Kentucky: Tow Truck Driver Struck and Killed by SUV

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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