The Responder December 2015

Now introducing the New TIM Network Liaison

First and foremost I would like to tell everyone what an honor and a privilege it has been serving as the TIM Network Liaison. I have appreciated the working relationships that I have had the chance to make as well as the experience that I have gained throughout my term as TIM Network Liaison. With that being said, it is also my great honor to introduce to you all, the new TIM Network Liaison, Rusty James. Rusty is a well respected TIM expert, having spent the majority of his career as a first responder and now works as an Incident and Emergency Management Specialist.

Welcome, Rusty!


Eric Rensel


Message from the New TIM Network Liaison

I looked at the calendar recently in preparation for this article and realized that it is already December.  I am not sure about all of you, but I am wondering where the year went.  Soon we will be celebrating the holidays with family and friends, giving thanks for all of our blessings, making resolutions and starting another year.  When I was younger it seemed that it took forever for a year to pass.

I have recently conducted a number of SHRP2 Traffic Incident for Responders training sessions.  Each time I do the training I think of the quality of the curriculum.  Having been in the response business long before this training became available, I am very happy that this curriculum was developed.  There is no doubt that many lives have been saved as a result of responders attending the training, and using it to improve operations.  The training numbers continue to grow, but we still have many responders, in all disciplines, that would benefit from the training.

The success of TIM programs across the country, and around the world, may be determined by the inter-disciplinary training that the stakeholders embrace and use.  To be safe, effective, and efficient at incident scenes we must all know some about what the other responders do.  Incident scenes are much like the pit stop analogy used in the SHRP2 TIM for Responders training.  All of the members of the “crew” must be at least somewhat familiar with the roles of the other members.

No matter our discipline, we do a great job of training within our discipline.  We all know the challenges of getting time for required training, much less time for additional training.  That continues to be our greatest challenge in training our personnel.  This is one area where we are doing better and making great strides.  The next big challenge will be getting the information to the motoring public and training them.

As you know, the amount of training for new drivers has been reduced over the years.  This reduction has been occurring over a period of years so we have many drivers to train.  The transportation industry must take steps to make drivers aware of what is expected of them.  This is essential for the safety of our personnel and for the motorists.  There is very little training for motorists regarding work zones, traffic control, and new highway and interchange design.  There is even less training for motorists regarding what is expected of them when they encounter an incident on the roadways.  There is confusion on the part of motorists when the traffic control meets the MUTCD standards.  The confusion increases when they encounter multi-color flashing lights.

SHRP2 has resulted in many safety enhancements.  Public outreach is our next big challenge.  We struggle to train responders whose lives depend upon the training.  It will be even more difficult to train motorists.  How will we reach them? What shall we tell them? How do we sustain this pubic outreach?  These are but some of the questions that we will be faced with.  If we don’t take every chance that we have to educate motorists, I fear that all we will achieve is teaching each other to dodge vehicles.  But, I have faith, I know that we will be successful because we don’t give up.

Back to the holiday season.  Most of us will be spending time with those we love during this holiday season.  We will be taking time to give thanks for all that we have and all that we have to look forward to.  What better time than the present to begin the public outreach that we all know is needed?  When you are with those you love this holiday season take time to discuss what is expected of them when they encounter an incident on the roadways.  Discuss work zone safety, traffic control, highway design and other transportation related topics that have probably not been at the top of the list during the holidays.  Their lives, and the lives of those working on the roadways depend on it.

As you travel during the holidays be sure that you do all that you can to be as safe as you can be.  Be sure to buckle up, and be sure to properly restrain children in vehicles.  These seem like such simple things to those of us who are, or have been responders. But there are still serious injuries and deaths our roadways that could have been prevented with seat belts and child restraints.

As you celebrate the holidays please don’t drive while impaired.  Plan ahead for your celebration.  Include a designated driver, one who has had nothing to drink, as a part of your plans.  Or, stay where you are celebrating and encourage those you love to do the same.  You will be glad that you did.

Enjoy the holidays.  Take every opportunity that you can to educate family, friends, and others about what we do.  We can all bring about change;  no time is better than now.


Rusty James 

TIM Network Liaison



We are currently in the process of updating the TIM Network member database.  We are trying to standardize the files and make sure that the information is accurate.  It has come to my attention that some members have received E-mails as these updates have been completed.  I apologize for the inconvenience and confusion.  I have reached out to our IT Department to determine a manner of updating the files in the background without notifications going out.  Our goal is to be the best TIM resource for all of our members, and providing only accurate, timely, and needed information.  Please forgive us for the inconvenience as we continue to improve the TIM Network and the database.


View from the Street

By Eric Reddeck, NFFF Everyone Goes Home Advocate

On December 9, 1999 Hampton Roads Highway Management plan MOU was signed.  A simple TIM plan of six pages with a 16 minute training video. Being Chair of HRHIM I can say, Team Work and Networking was how this plan was achieved.  Jack Sullivan gave a great presentation in March 1999  and using a Fairfax County Fire Department SOP from Steve Weissman as  a guide .  HRHIM held monthly meetings to come up with a plan all could agree.  After the agreement HRHIM held meetings  in March, June, September, and December  on the second Wednesday from 9am-12pm . Having an active Traffic Incident Management team ON THE SCENE requires  having  regular meetings set location and time.  I think that a very important element  was the informal discussion in small groups before and after the meeting.

It takes more then First Responders being a team.  The Governor, General Assembly and local Mayors must  agree on things like – The Move Over Law,  forming Statewide Traffic Incident Management Committee,  adopting National Unified Goals  and  funding of Preemption of Traffic Signals to increase safety while reducing response times  to incidents to name a few.

2015 Killed in the Line of Duty

Police Officers  116
Firefighters        75
EMS                    05   National EMS
Towers               21

Eric Reddeck
NFFF Everyone Goes Home Advocate


Ignition Interlock Programs

Jim McGee

Ignition interlock devices are attached to a convicted driver’s vehicle ignition system as a term of probation.  An ignition interlock device separates drinking from driving and stops drivers who have consumed alcohol from operating a motor vehicle if the motorist’s breath alcohol concentration exceeds a set point.


According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, crashes in which alcohol was the cause resulted in 11,226 fatalities and 326,000 nonfatal injuries last year.

Within the next hour, someplace in the United States, police, fire and rescue, highway maintenance workers, and towing and recovery operators will be summoned to the scene of a fatal alcohol-related crash. 41% of highway fatalities that occur around the New Year’s Day holiday are alcohol-related; while 37% that happen on Christmas are alcohol-related.

The CDC says that about a third of drunken drivers are repeat offenders and that a drunken driver has driven inebriated 80 times before being arrested. Of those who are caught, 50-75% continue to drive on a suspended license. Researchers found that when interlock devices were installed, re-arrest rates for alcohol-impaired driving decreased by a median of 67%

Alcohol impairment among drivers involved in fatal crashes in 2011 was 4.5 times higher at night than during the day. In 2011, 15% of all drivers involved in fatal crashes during the week were alcohol-impaired, compared to 31% on weekends.

The initial cost and monthly fee for the interlock device are paid by the offender. Ignition interlock devices are attached to a convicted driver’s vehicle ignition system as a term of probation.  An ignition interlock device  stops drivers who have consumed alcohol from operating a motor vehicle if the motorist’s breath alcohol concentration exceeds a set point.

Drivers must provide a breath sample by blowing into the ignition interlock device. If the driver’s blood-alcohol content is over the set point, the vehicle won’t start. An interlock-equipped vehicle can only be started if the driver blows into the device and registers below the legal limit of 0.08%.

New Mexico was the first state to mandate alcohol interlocks for all convicted drunk drivers in 2006 with a resulting 38% decline in drunk driving deaths.  According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, all 50 states have an ignition interlock law of some type. California has a pilot program in four of its largest counties. Colorado and Maine’s laws are not mandatory for a first conviction, but there are “incentives” to install an interlock device on the first conviction.

In 2013, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration released model guidelines for states encouraging them to adopt ignition interlock for first-time convicted drunk drivers and establish a minimum length of time in which offenders must use the interlocks.

According to NHTSA’s Model Guidelines for State Ignition Interlock Programs, ignition interlock programs should include partners in law enforcement, state highway safety offices, prosecutors, judiciary, driver licensing agencies, probation, technology manufacturers, and treatment programs.

The Model Guidelines for State Interlock Programs state that Ignition interlock programs can be delivered in through the judiciary within the criminal justice system; administratively within the driver licensing system, or using a hybrid approach that incorporates both judicial and administrative driver licensing elements.

Sweden and Finland have implemented interlock technology on a broader scale, including commercial trucks, taxis and child transit services.


The writer lives in Nebraska and can be contacted at

For those attending the TRB Annual Meeting, you may be interested in these activities of the Regional TIM Subcommittee of the TRB Regional Transportation Systems Management and Operations (RTSMO) Committee:


TIM Workshop


Workshop 132: How New Sources of Data and New Technologies Can Improve Traffic Incident Management Programs: Discussions with Data Providers and TIM Practitioners

January 10, 9 AM to 12 PM


How should new technologies be developed to account for TIM needs? What research is needed now to implement in 5 to 10 years? Are TIM stakeholders involved in the discussion, development, and research agenda? What new sources of data and new technologies can be leveraged to improve TIM? These questions will be discussed through the cross–cutting themes of data and performance management and specific topics such as connected vehicles, big data, decision support, freight performance, and infrastructure performance. Brief presentations will be followed by group discussion.



Regional TIM Subcommittee Meeting


January 11, 7:30 PM to 9:30 PM



If you have questions about the RTSMO TIM Subcommittee, please contact Co-Chairs Eileen Singleton ( or Pat Noyes (

New Module on RSLN – Response to Rural Road Incidents on 

This module illustrates some of the best practices on roadway response for rural roads. Check it out in the link below.


 Incident Management Meeting and Report Updates from the Maine-New Hampshire Traffic Incident Management Committee 

Be sure to check out the Maine-New Hampshire TIM Committee’s Performance Measures report with the links provided below.

ME NH TIM Performance Measures Report September_2015 Turnpike 7_24_15 Incident Review After Action Report



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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