View from the Street * November 2014

By Eric Reddeck, NFFF * Everyone Goes Home Advocate, 

I recently spoke to Bernie Wagenblast of Transportation Radio ( and asked him how first responders can better assist the public via Traffic Reporters.

Bernie shared, “I’ve had the good fortune to be on both the public sector and the traffic reporting side of traffic incident management during my career, and I think that’s given me an unusual view of how both groups view TIM and see each other. While public agencies can communicate directly with the public through tools such as DMS, 511, and HAR, the numbers those devices reach pale in comparison to the number of drivers traffic reporters can reach via their broadcasts. I think the best way first responders can assist the public via traffic reporters is by providing what information they have as soon as possible after they become aware of it. Traffic reporters don’t need information on incidents that don’t impact traffic, but letting them know some details, such as whether a tow truck is required or if an investigation will take place, allows them to tell the public how serious the incident is and whether they should plan on changing their plans. Responders should also consider building relationships with traffic reporters outside of incident times so that the reporters can be used to communicate other important messages, such as the ‘move over’ laws.”

Bernie Wagenblast is the editor of the Transportation Communications Newsletter, the AASHTO Daily Transportation Update, and Transportation Radio. He started his career in radio and was one of the original Shadow Traffic reporters in NYC. He was operations manager of TRANSCOM for a decade and helped found the I-95 Corridor Coalition. He also specializes in doing transportation voiceover work and is the narrator of the newly-released National Traffic Incident Management Responder Training course from FHWA. Bernie can be reached at
2014 – Killed in the Line of Duty

Police Officers   97

Firefighters        73

EMS                      05

Towers                 12

TIM Network
– FHWA Traffic Incident Management
– Responder Safety Learning Network
– NFFF Fire Learning Network
– IACP * Police Officer Safety
– Towing and Recovery Association of America
– Safe Highways
– TIM NETWORK  Facebook    National Traffic Incident Management Coalition
– IAFF Health, Safety, Medicine
– NFPA 1500 Health and Safety

Eric Reddeck
NFFF Everyone Goes Home Advocate

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