The Responder August 2016

Message from the New TIM Network Liaison

Independence Day has come and gone;  we are on the downhill side of summer.  School will start in the next few weeks across the country.  Where did summer go?  In many places we have experienced extremely high temperatures and many have had unprecedented rainfall and flooding.  Unfortunately, we have lost some heroes this summer, too.  Some to incidents on our highways, some to violence, some to firefighting, and some protecting our country in faraway places.  Heroes all, no matter the discipline, job title or circumstances!

Last month I recognized instructors of the ICS Train-the-Trainer course that I was fortunate enough to attend in Jefferson City, Missouri.  I said that Mike Cherry, one of the instructors was from Franklin County, Missouri.  Well when you rely on spellcheck, remember that it won’t help much if you type the wrong words.  Mike called and reminded me that he is from Lincoln County, Missouri.  He found out about my error when some of his personnel asked if he was leaving. I am happy to report that Mike Cherry is the Fire Chief in Lincoln County, Missouri.  I will try not to reassign people without their permission in the future.  An obvious case of operator error.

I like to provide real-life stories in my article as I think it puts a name and face to the information.  As I was preparing to compose this article, I received a message from a longtime friend of mine who is in the tow business.  Bob Cradit, who operates a rotator for Marvin’s Tow in the Kansas City area, has been in the tow business for over 28 years.  I have been fortunate to call Bob my friend for most of that time.  I had shared a link on Facebook from Jack Sullivan concerning a nurse who unknowingly jumped between two bridges.  I have included the link to the Facebook post.  (

After I posted the information I received the message from Bob.  He told me that he wanted to personally thank me for raising awareness of Traffic Incident Management in the Kansas City area and beyond.  Bob told me that prior to attending the SHRP2 National Traffic Incident Management for Responders training, he and others took for granted that they would not get struck at incidents on the roadways.  He said that now his head is on a swivel, and he constantly reminds others of the dangers of working in traffic.

Bob has been training Tow Operators at all levels during much of his career.  Teaching them about this danger and using effective TIM is now part of his classes.  Bob, and many others, are outstanding examples of all that is good in the towing industry.  Thanks for your message, and stay safe out there.

We continue to increase the numbers of personnel trained in all disciplines in the SHRP2 National Traffic Incident Management for Responders curriculum.  The latest numbers of those trained are included in each edition of the Responder.  However, we continue to see examples of opportunities for improvement on our highways.  Recently there have been a number of examples of Command Staff and Management of the different disciplines involved in incidents without even the bare minimum equipment, a High Visibility Reflective vest.  It will be extremely hard to gain compliance from personnel who are on the street, working incidents every day, when Management does not comply.  Do as I say, not as I do, is not a good approach to management.

Another thing that there have been many examples of recently is emergency equipment and DOT vehicles being struck at incidents on the highways.  Many of these involve incidents where traffic control was in place.  I have attached some photos that I have received recently.

Arrow Towing                                  KDOT

Photo courtesy of Arrow Towing                                  Photo courtesy of KDOT


ERSI           Jeswald Auto

Photo courtesy of ERSI                                           Photo courtesy Jeswald Auto Truck Service


World Fashion Day occurs in August.  The latest in high visibility clothing and PPE should be a part of this event.  Please send photos of the latest high visibility clothing and PPE being used by your department or organization for inclusion in the next edition of The Responder.  There have been tremendous upgrades to the clothing and PPE that are available to make us safer as we work.  Your photos will help to make everyone aware of the latest trends in clothing and PPE.  Send your photos and information to me at .

For next The Responder we would also like to have a display of police cars, fire trucks, tow trucks, DOT vehicles, and other vehicles that are being used to provide effective TIM.  There are many new vehicle designs in all of the disciplines that help to protect responders and improve safe quick clearance.  We would like to highlight what everyone is using to improve TIM across the country.

As I have noted in previous issues, we are working to update the TIM Network membership database and increase membership.  The updates to the databases are being completed and we are trying to merge some files.  This has been quite a project as several lists have to be merged, but we are getting there.  If you happen to get E-mails indicating that you have updated your TIM Network account, the updates are part of the process.  If you have questions about any E-mails that you have received, please feel free to E-mail me at .  The TIM Network will soon have additional information from Knowledge Management Systems available online.

I am going to re-issue my challenge to promote membership in the TIM Network.  I have challenged everyone several times to forward The Responder to others in their organization who are not members, and to others outside their organizations 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.

In order for the TIM Network to grow, we need information from our membership.  There are best practices across the country that we would love to share with everyone.  If you have information or an idea that you would like to share, please send the information to be included in The Responder.  This information can include training information, technological information, best practices, incident information, information on equipment that may be useful in TIM, or any other information that you feel would be beneficial to the membership.  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.

On behalf of the TIM Network, we would like to express our sincere condolences to the Tennessee Department of Transportation and the family of James “Pee Wee” Hopkins, a TDOT  Operations Technician, who was flagging traffic around a maintenance crew when he was struck by an oncoming vehicle.   When a worker loses their life on our highways the loss is felt by us all.  This is the second fatality that the Tennessee Department of Transportation has suffered in the last several months.  Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers.  (

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.  Don’t be afraid to stand up and say something if you see unsafe activities at an incident.  We have to protect each other.

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

On July 12-13 in Chesapeake, Virginia, I had the pleasure of  watching Master Instructor Jack Sullivan teach Train-The -Trainer  for,  The second Strategic Highway Research Program (SHRP2). National Traffic Incident Management Responder Training Program  The class had someone from all TIM groups and had a friendly free flow of information for the class on TIM in their chosen field. Once again I could see the importance of  planning and training in the classroom for events of an emergency scene.

July Article in  Police Chief   Best Practices in Traffic Incident Management  Statewide Approach: Oregon  Traffic Incident Management Strategic Plan, Local Approach: Stafford Country, Virginia winner of the Traffic Incident Management Special Award in the 2015 National Law Enforcement Challenge.

 Helpful Video for  All TIM Groups –

NFFF shows the fire chief perspective on line-of-duty deaths

Twelve chiefs representing every type of department –metropolitan and rural, career, volunteer and wildland – share the grim realities of coping with a line-of-duty death.

New Model for Exposure to Potentially Traumatic Events – The model and accompanying notes explain the components of determining who is impacted and who may need assistance NFFF Protocol for Exposure to Occupational Stress

 2016 Killed in the Line of Duty   *all causes*

Police Officers   68
Firefighters       46
EMS      ?           4+
Towers  ?          4+

 Eric Reddeck
NFFF Everyone Goes Home Advocate

Message from the Glendale, AZ Fire Department

Fire training

Train for the unexpected and stay in your operational lane for safety.


Hall of Flame – Phoenix, Arizona – Airway protection has always been vital to responders.

air safety

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 .


Advance planning and collaboration are necessary for highway hazardous materials incidents

By: Jim McGee


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.

In the News of TIM

*If you are going to play the new popular smartphone game ‘Pokemon Go’ please do not do so while driving and please be aware of your surroundings when playing the game.

Delaware: ‘Pokemon Go’ causes driver to crash into police car


Maryland: Driver playing ‘Pokemon Go’ crashes into police car


Driving While Distracted: It’s not just texting anymore


Driving While Distracted: Can technology stop the problem it caused?

For additional articles, take a look at the Kansas Department of Transportation’s On the Road newsletter!


Also check out the National Operations Center of Excellence Bi-Weekly Newsletter


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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