The Responder November 2016

Message from the New TIM Network Liaison

Here we are at the holiday season again.  This year has really gone by fast; the older I get the faster time seems to go by.  This article will be a little shorter than usual as I had carpal tunnel surgery this week on both hands, against my wife’s better judgement I might add.  My hands feel much better already but this sure is awkward.

I have spoken with responders around the country in recent months and have gotten much of the same answer to a question that all of us probably ask.  What key stakeholder are we missing for TIM efforts to be successful?  The answer that I have gotten, across the board, is “motorists or the public”.  The issue of involving motorists in TIM efforts is a local issue, like most, and will ultimately be resolved locally, by local stakeholders.  The issue of public outreach is a national issue and there is support for local stakeholders.

For the first time, this year a week in November is being designated as National Traffic Incident Response Week.  This will take place the week of November 14th through 18th. Getting this week recognized took longer than expected this year so time for planning events around the country was short.  However, there some events and activities planned that everyone can promote.  Many of these are designed to get information directly to motorists to make them aware of the dangers for responders.  Watch for E-mails for web presentations and information on promoting National Traffic Incident Response Week in your community.

The TIM Network home page now has a link at the top of the page for Response Week.  There are Twitter and Facebook links for your use as well as information promoting TIM.  All that is left for us to do is get out and spread the word.  Now is the time to tell the public how good we are and what help we need from them.  Promote yourselves and your organizations.  Talk about the relationships that have been developed, and show how well you are working together to keep each other safe, keep motorists safe, and improve the quality of life for all.  This is a historical week for TIM.

When you get a chance to talk with the public about TIM, please remind them:

We Got Your Back

You Got Ours?

Watch out for responders at traffic incidents: Lives Depend on It!

I am still challenging everyone to encourage membership in the TIM Network.  I usually sign up 10 or more members at each training session or presentation.  If we all encourage membership when we speak about TIM or conduct training, the membership numbers will increase rapidly.  If you get permission to use information from students or attendees from the sign in sheets, scan them and send them to me, I will take care of registering new members.  This is the most valuable membership there is for those of us involved in TIM.  It was started and continues because of us.

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.

In closing, remember the importance of the holiday season to your family.  Work safe and train together to improve the safety of responders, the safety of motorists, minimize the effect that the incidents we respond to have on traffic and continue to improve the quality of life for everyone.


Rusty James

TIM Network Liaison

E-mail –


View from the Street

By Eric Reddeck, NFFF Everyone Goes Home Advocate

The Importance of Root Cause Analysis During Incident Investigation. A root cause is a fundamental, underlying, system-related reason why an incident occurred that identifies one or more correctable system failures. By conducting a root cause analysis and addressing root causes, an employer may be able to substantially or completely prevent the same or a similar incident from recurring.
Effective traffic incident clearance is an important means of improving safety and reducing congestion delays. A national, multidisciplinary training curriculum is needed to help ensure a well-coordinated response to traffic incidents that achieves faster clearance and improved safety for both responders and motorists. National Traffic Incident Management Responder Training Program.

National TIM Training Certificate Federal Highway Administration, the Responder Safety Learning Network (RSLN) offers a National TIM Training Certificate for registered users who complete ten specific RSLN online self-paced programs.  Responder Safety Learning Network

In 2013, 67,523 crashes were estimated to have occurred in work zones nationwide.   Work Zone Crash Data 
The 16 Firefighter Life Safety Initiatives have deeply informed the emerging safety culture in the US fire service, and become the bedrock foundation for thousands of fire departments and EMS organizations who have a desire to ensure that their firefighters and medics return home safely after every shift.
2016 Killed in the Line of Duty   *all causes*

Police Officers   107
Firefighters       68
EMS      ?           6+
Towers  ?          7+
DOT Workers    ?

 Eric Reddeck
NFFF Everyone Goes Home Advocate
 Eric Reddeck
NFFF Everyone Goes Home Advocate

KC Scout, MoDOT to Honor Incident Responders 

For more information, contact Michele Stewart at 816-607-2027


LEE’S SUMMIT, Mo. – Across the country every year, hundreds of emergency responders representing fire, law enforcement, emergency medical services, towing and transportation agencies are struck and either injured or killed while responding to incidents on the roadway. In order to better educate the public, and hopefully save motorists and responders lives, KC Scout is joining Emergency Response operators, the Missouri State Highway Patrol, the Kansas City Police Department, tow truck operators and other partners next week to highlight Traffic Incident Response Week, Nov. 14-18. 

Last year, KC Scout responded to more than 30,000 incidents on metro roadways. That’s more than 30,000 times a motorist had a flat tire, a semi overturned during rush hour or debris littered a high-speed lane. And each of these incidents impacted traffic in some way – slow downs, stops or completely diverting to a new route. And each time, these incident responders were putting their safety on the line to clear the incident and return traffic to normal as quickly as possible.

In the past 10 years, MoDOT has had three emergency response employees killed while working incidents on the road. In an average year, the tow truck industry loses a driver every week while responding to an incident.  According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, traffic incident fatalities have increased 7.2 percent, which is the largest percentage increase in nearly 50 years. Traffic incidents are the number one case of death for police officers and EMS/EMT responders nationwide.

“MoDOT and its partners in law enforcement, fire, EMT and the tow industry work together to clear incidents but we need the help of drivers,” said MoDOT Chief Engineer Ed Hassinger. “Move over when you see responders on the road and give them extra space to work. They are out there trying to clear the road for you so give them space to work.”

Missouri’s Move Over law requires drivers to slow down and change lanes when approaching MoDOT vehicles or law enforcement and emergency vehicles with lights flashing. If drivers can’t change lanes safely, they must slow down as they pass the emergency vehicles. The law applies to law enforcement, emergency vehicles and transportation workers as they perform their official duties.

For more information on the Traffic Incident Response Awareness Week, please visit the national website at or visit MoDOT’s website at

For more information about MoDOT news, projects or events, please visit our website at For instant updates, follow MoDOT_KC on Twitter, or share posts and comments on our Facebook at MoDOT Kansas City maintains more than 7,000 miles of state roadway in nine counties. Sign up online for workzone updates or call 888-ASK-MODOT (275-6636).

Take the survey to relay information about Move Over Laws in your state!

Traffic Forum – Temporary Traffic Control Zones MUTCD Section 6.C02 
Jim McGeee

Additional Articles 

Check out the link below for the Kansas Traffic Safety Resource Office’s Newsletter!


Respondersafety Newsletter


The LEL Traffic Stop Newsletter


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

Kentucky: Tow Truck Driver Struck and Killed


Florida: Tampa woman killed, Polk deputy injured after being struck by a vehicle in Lake Wales

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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