The Responder April 2017

Message from the New TIM Network Liaison

Excellent work on National Work Zone Awareness Week!  As I traveled throughout the Midwest and researched activities that were conducted across the country, I was very impressed.  I saw effective use of electronic message boards, good news coverage and some very well produced public service announcements.  I heard from several people that they thought the PSA’s were very well done, and were effective in getting their attention.  Let’s start today in preparing for another successful campaign next year.

As with our TIM efforts, the most effective way that we can promote these activities is to take every opportunity to promote our work.  As many of you know, I have a message on my phone that promotes the move over law and the use of seat belts and child restraints.  I have recently heard other similar messages when I have called TIM champions.  This takes a small amount of time and will reach so many.  As I have said many times, we need to be more proactive in promoting what we do, no matter the discipline.  All the public knows about responders is what they see on the news.  We must fix that.  Make presentations to civic groups, schools, and at special events in your area.  Take every opportunity to tell the public how good we really are, and explain to them what all we do.  It will be an eye opener to them.

There were several webinars conducted recently by FHWA regarding the updated SHRP2 National TIM for Responders curriculum.  The changes in the curriculum include some updates with more recent examples of incidents, additional information and best practices that have come about since the original curriculum was rolled out, and other information.  These updates will help to keep the training relevant to all responders.  And, like the original curriculum, the updated version should be personalized with examples and information from the area where the training is conducted.  It takes a little time to personalize the curriculum, but the reward for the work is great.  Responders are much more likely to accept the information and the training when they know that it is being conducted specifically for them, with information that is relevant to where they work.  Take the time to make the training personal to your audience, I know that they will appreciate it.

Since the week of April 23rd through 29th is National Volunteer Week, I wanted to remind everyone how important volunteers are to our TIM efforts across the country.  When I work with volunteer fire and EMS agencies I am reminded of something that was shared with me by Jim McGee.  He told me that over 80% of the United States is served by Volunteer Fire Services.  These volunteers give of themselves so that we all might be safe in our homes and businesses.  We should be thankful for volunteer police officers, volunteer firefighters, volunteer EMS personnel, emergency managers and others who help us to provide safe, efficient traffic incident management on our roadways.  Take the time to thank all the volunteers who you encounter daily.  Let them know how important they are to you, and volunteer in your community.

There are several activities scheduled in the month of May to remember and honor responders.  Please take the time to recognize all the responders you work with and let them know you care.

May 15th through 21st              National Police Week


May 21st through 27th              National EMS Week


May 21st through 27th              National Public Works Week

These are opportunities for everyone to honor those who serve, and those who have made the ultimate sacrifice.  We should all go out of our way to thank all who give so much to make our lives safer, and better in general.  I will be flying my Law Enforcement Memorial flag during Police Week.  I will be alternating my Thin Red Line flag and my Towing / Transportation flag during the week of May 21st – 27th.  I hope that you will all do the same.

Summer will be here before we know it and with summer comes vacations and travel.  We all have the ability to educate others about TIM, work zones, driving, and other things in our lives.  Take the time to teach those you love about the things that you believe to be important to you.  We must rely on ourselves to get the messages out that we want heard.

Be safe, be sure to tell those you care about how important they are to you.


Rusty James, TIM Network Liaison

Phone:  816-206-8545



View from the Street

By Eric Reddeck, NFFF Everyone Goes Home Advocate

  The fire under the bridge on I-85 in Atlanta, Georgia shows the importance of emergency planning for fires with highway design. Fire trucks are large vehicles and carry  500 to 1000 gallons of water on them. Interstates by the most part have no hydrants and small turnaround  spots that  fire engines can crossover lanes. This means many fire trucks have to respond to supply the water needed to put out the fire in one direction.  Does your state include Fire Chiefs in your plans review? 

April 3-7, 2017 ” Work Zone Safety is in Your Hands”…/wz-awareness-week/

Highway Work Zone Deaths are hard to find below is  link from CDC
2017 Killed in the Line of Duty   *all causes*

Police Officers      33
Firefighters          27
EMS      ?              02
Towers  ?             02

 Eric Reddeck
NFFF Everyone Goes Home Advocate

The national Towing Traffic Incident Reporting System (TTIRS) is the national database for incidents involving tow truck operators. The Towing and Recovery Association of America is a Charter Member. Check out the link below for more information! (

Storm Spot Light

03/14/2017 1430 hrs

Area Command Deputy J. SMYSER

Smyser Deputy Area Commander received a request from PEMA about a 23-month-old child that was in the need for a heart transplant. The child need to travel from his residence in East Stroudsburg to the Geisinger Medical Center in Danville, PA.

Smyser coordinated the move.  SMYSER liaised with:

  • County maintenance
  • Pennsylvania National Guard EPLO

PennDOT plow trucks cleared the way, followed by a PSP escort, the ambulance carrying the child, and then two Pennsylvania guard Humvee units in case the ambulance got stuck.  The child made it to Danville in time to receive the heart transplant.

Smyser and all of Area Command did an excellent job with this life saving coordination.


State Patrol recognizes two FIRST drivers for heroic acts
Jeff Whalen and Marc Gomez, Freeway Incident Response and Safety Team drivers in the Metro District, received awards from the State Patrol during a ceremony Feb. 9 to honor heroic acts in 2016.Department of Public Safety Commissioner Mona Dohman and Col. Matt Langer, chief of the Minnesota State Patrol, honored state troopers, citizens and members of other law enforcement and emergency service agencies during the ceremony in Vadnais Heights.

“Everyone in this room would say, ‘I just did what anyone would do.’ But the fact is that’s not true. You did more than what just anyone would do,” Langer said.

The Minnesota State Patrol established its awards ceremony to honor the exemplary efforts of troopers who have excelled in their mission to protect and serve the people of Minnesota. The ceremony also recognizes citizens and members of other law enforcement and emergency service agencies who performed commendable acts to assist troopers and help others.

Whalen and Gomez received the Minnesota State Patrol Commendation Award, which is presented to members of another law enforcement or emergency service agency who have assisted the State Patrol in providing a significant service.

Gomez was on duty Oct. 25 when he came upon a vehicle stalled on the shoulder of westbound I-694 at Hwy 61. The driver was unresponsive. Gomez checked for and found a pulse, but after approximately one minute noticed it was gone. He immediately hooked up his defibrillator and began CPR. As he continued to provide CPR, the ambulance arrived on scene and paramedics took over.Whalen was on routine patrol as a FIRST driver on May 5 when he came upon a stalled vehicle on the shoulder of Interstate 694 in Maple Grove. The driver was unconscious but had a pulse and was breathing, so Whalen gave him a sternum rub and kept him conscious until an ambulance arrived. It was later determined he had overdosed on prescription pills. The trooper who nominated Whalen said that if he had not stopped to check on the stalled vehicle she was certain the driver would have died in the vehicle.

“I am not a person that wants the spot light and attention,” said Whalen. “I did what any of our FIRST drivers would do. I just happened to be at the right place at the right time. I was glad he was going to be okay and make it home to his family.”


Congratulations to Angie Kremer for being honored for her Traffic Incident Management Expertise!

See the below press release for more details on her prestigious award.

Kremer Press Release

Omaha Police Units Struck on I-80

Occurred 4/4/2017

When driving on the roadways, motorists need to look ahead and be aware of any first responder vehicles, crashes or disabled vehicles on the side of the road. When you don’t pay attention and drive defensively this is what happens.

Two of our cruisers were pulled over on the side of Interstate 80 today when a vehicle struck the rear of the cruiser with an officer inside the vehicle. The force of the crash resulted in numerous vehicles being involved and damaged.

Both a citizen and our officer were transported to the hospital with what are believed to be non-life threatening injuries.

(Courtesy of the Omaha Police Department)


See the below link for a Traffic Forum by Jim McGee

Check out the below link for the Kansas Traffic Safety Resource Office newsletter

See below for Florida’s Turnpike Incident Management Annual Reports

2016 FTE STARR Report

2016 FTE RISC Report


Check out the link below for training courses from the ATSSA!

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!

Speak Your Mind