The Responder February 2017

Message from the New TIM Network Liaison

Every opportunity that I get, I try to remind responders of the dangers of working in roadways, and to introduce them to best practices that can improve their safety, the safety of motorists, and reduce the number of incidents to improve the chances of everyone making it home each day.  Good effective Traffic Incident Management (TIM) is essential to survival.

According to the Officer Down Memorial Page (, auto related law enforcement deaths are up 200% this year.  Some of these deaths are struck-by incidents, while the deaths by gunfire and other causes have decreased.  I don’t have the statistics for other disciplines readily available, but I know that the numbers are increasing.  As I travel throughout the country, I am dismayed by some of the things that I have seen.  Most involve responders not wearing high visibility reflective safety apparel.  Another is the continued “traffic side” approach to vehicles by responders of all disciplines.

I have heard comments alluding to the road or ramps being closed, thus eliminating the need for high visibility safety apparel.  I have researched the subject and have found, as I suspected, that there is no exemption for workers (i.e. law enforcement officers, firefighters, DOT personnel, towing personnel, or other workers) when the roadway is temporarily closed to traffic.  As long as there is traffic using the roadways for the purpose of travel, or there are work vehicles (law enforcement vehicles, fire trucks, tow trucks, DOT vehicles, etc.) in the Temporary Traffic Control zone, all workers shall wear approved high visibility safety apparel.  I have included a portion of the section of the MUTCD, Part 6D for reference:

All workers, including emergency responders, within the right-of-way who are exposed either to traffic (vehicles using the highway for purposes of travel) or to work vehicles and construction equipment within the TTC zone shall wear high-visibility safety apparel…

Please feel free to follow the link above to the MUTCD Part 6D web page for more on this important topic.

Remember to use not only the high visibility safety apparel, but all the supplied and required PPE for your job.  Closing a roadway does not make it safe, it just makes it closed, kind of.  Responders with any experience have had motorists drive into their “closed” roadway or incident scene.

As I have told many of you, the MUTCD police won’t issue you a citation for not complying with the above requirements.  The penalty will be in the form of loss of workman’s compensation benefits and OSHA penalties.  We must protect our personnel in this dangerous working environment.

I continue to be disappointed by the “traffic side approach” by responders on the roadways.  This is not a law enforcement issue, but a responder issue.  I see responders in the roadways, and in traffic, when there are safer alternatives.  When I conduct training I emphasize that all responders, from all disciplines, should be approaching vehicles or conducting their activities on the “non-traffic side” when possible.  There are examples available from across the country, of struck-by incidents or close-calls.

The issues that I have discussed this month are critical to the survival to our friends, family and co-workers.  I would be remiss if I did not take an opportunity to recognize those responders, again from all disciplines, who are always utilizing their PPE and approaching vehicles as safely as possible given the circumstances.  I hope that those who continue to do the right thing will impress upon other responders the need for safety and proper TIM.  This will help to change the current cultures in which we operate to a true culture of safety for all responders.

I continue to challenge each member of the TIM Network to encourage at least one person to sign up.  Please take this opportunity to increase our membership.  This will benefit all of us. I have included a link to register:

Please continue to take every opportunity to promote TIM in your daily duties.  Please do this and send me an E-mail highlighting your efforts.  This will help to provide examples of how we can all get the word out.

Stay safe and take care of each other. Our lives depend on it.


Rusty James, TIM Network Liaison


View from the Street

By Eric Reddeck, NFFF Everyone Goes Home Advocate

2017  Law Enforcement have  increase of  150%  in Line of Duty Deaths!

Can evolving technology improve safety and service?

Are First Responders using the Best Practices  advance warning to protect ourself ?
Responder Safety Learning Network   
National TIM training by state 1/9/17
2017 Killed in the Line of Duty   *all causes*

Police Officers      15
Firefighters          05
EMS      ?              00
Towers  ?             00
DOT Workers    ?

 Eric Reddeck
NFFF Everyone Goes Home Advocate

 Keeping the Trapped Queue Safe After the Crash

William Benson Project Manager Gannett Fleming Inc.

Pennsylvania State Traffic Management Center (PA STMC)

 Figure 1

 On December 29, 2016 a winter snow storm traversed across the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania mostly effecting the I-80 corridor.  At 10:00 AM a multi-vehicle with multiple tractor trailers crashed at MM 287.9 WB in Tunkhannock Twp Monroe County in PennDOT District 5’s area.  County Maintenance from Monroe County arrived at the crash location and County Manager Jay Borger immediately established Unified Command with police, fire, and EMS.  A detour was immediately put in place and responders worked the crash scene and attended to  Figure: 1 I-80 WB MM 287.9  Trapped Queue over a 2 mile trapped queue.  Knowing that the snow was continuing as the first responders worked the active crash scene, County Manager Borger staged plow trucks at crossovers in the trapped queue area.  As the trapped queue was being released at 1:42 PM the staged plow trucks joined westbound traffic and spread anti-skid material and plowed the roadway that had been closed due to the crash. This action ensured that traffic traveling in the trapped queue would not get stuck on the snowy roadway.



In the “there for the grace of God go we” department, a Cleveland (Ohio) Police Officer was struck and killed in  the Line of Duty on I-90 this morning following another fatal crash-involving a fire apparatus.

Cleveland Police Officer David Fahey was struck and killed by a hit and run driver this morning while setting up flares to divert traffic. Other emergency service personnel were already at the scene in that same area of the highway due to a crash involving a van and the fire apparatus earlier in the morning. The driver of that van was killed after striking the fire apparatus.

Police were looking for the damaged white Toyota and have converged on a home in Lorain where an arrest has been made. The crash that killed Officer Fahey occurred in the same area where Ohio State Highway Patrol Trooper Kenneth Velez was struck and killed in September 2016.

H I G H W A Y  W A R N I N G  I D E A :

While commonplace in the metro NYC area, many other police, fire and EMS departments around the country are adding “pre-warning” highway riser style light bars to their vehicles. These bars automatically “flip up” without the driver leaving the vehicle, and rise above traffic, providing LED warning much further back than traditional lights that may be blocked by

Here is an example of Whelen’s Highway Lightbar which is extremely effective in the goal of “pre-warning” traffic.


Thousands of firefighters are-thanks to Responder Safety. This NO COST/FREE program is available right now for all of your personnel:

Our condolences to the fire crews and all those involved in the initial crash and especially to the CPD and the officers family. RIP.

Take Care. Be Careful. Pass It On.


The Secret List 1/24/2017-1108 Hours


The LEL Stop

January 20, 2017


February 10, 2017


Check out the Kansas Traffic Safety Resource Office website for news, resources, events, and more!



First United Methodist Church
330 North Broadway
Wichita, KS 67202



In the News of TIM

Indiana State Police patrol car struck by impaired driver on I-65


Pennsylvania: Alpha Fire Company Emergency Vehicle Struck


Massachusetts: Cars Slam into Worcester Fire Apparatus

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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