2016 started off as the year of the Road Ranger. Everywhere you turned they were being recognized (finally!!). In February, WJXT Channel 4 had the opportunity to ride-along with Road Ranger Andy Henry, Supervisor Cody Parham and FDOT PIO David Fierro. Heather’s report aired in March and can be found by clicking here. This was followed by Folio Weekly doing an impressive cover story “The Ranger Zone” and photo spread from March 2016 that can be found at the following by clicking here. After this, the Florida Department of Transportation followed up the article with their own “Road Rangers to the Rescue” in March as well. Their article includes a video of their ride-along with Supervisor Cody Parham as they followed Road Ranger Rick Tripp.
By assisting at accident scenes, providing real-time information to the Traffic Management Center and assisting with Roadway Clearance, the Road Rangers play a key role in Incident Management for the Florida Department of Transportation.
As of June 27, 2016 the National TIM training numbers are:
The breakdown can be seen in the TIM Training Status Update.
If anyone is interested in the SHRP 2 Incident Management Training Course please contact Craig Carnes at firstname.lastname@example.org. He will work with any agencies’ schedules, including nights and weekends to make the training course available. The training is free to agencies and are conducted with a minimum group size of ten students.
The May Issue of SHRP2 Milestones focused on Transportation Projects Powered by SHRP2. How has the program been integrated into higher education? Can it be integrated? The University of Idaho took up the challenge by applying for a grant and chose to include the Traffic Incident Management (TIM) training into their curriculum. Take a look at page 6 and how Dr. Chang is combining TIM with his traffic operations and public transportation courses.
RISC has partaken in a resurgence in not only vendors but activations of late. The RISC Program has jumped up to 2 Vendors on the First Coast with Walt’s and Southern Wrecker as well as 2 in Alachua County with Dave’s Hi-Way and Shelby’s Towing. The Gainesville area should see an uptick as the new Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) Captain and Lieutenant get settled in. With 2 qualified vendors in the Jacksonville area we had 2 activations of late that benefited our motorists in Duval County.
RISC is a Statewide program offering monetary incentives to professional towing and recovery companies that can quickly respond to and clear incidents involving tractor-trailers, motor homes, buses, airplanes and other large vehicles. The RISC program was funded in 2008 to be used only on limited access facilities, Exit/entrance ramps and interchanges included. RISC promotes the Open Roads Policy of a 90 minute goal for travel lane clearance time. Quick clearance reduces exposure to responders, traffic queue congestion and prevents more severe secondary crashes among other benefits. The RISC Program standardizes response requirements with Pre-qualified vendors that have a past history of these types of incidents. Proven results…aligned with TIM Team strategy.
On May 12th a crash occurred on the I-295 East Beltway northbound at Beach Blvd. involving a dump truck that overturned, spilling sand onto both NB and SB lanes. Initial reports had someone trapped underneath the truck, and life flight was immediately en route to the scene. Emergency vehicles blocked SB lanes as the primary scene was on that northbound side. May 12th was the first day of the TPC Players Championship so a lot of golf enthusiasts were traveling the East Beltway southbound to get to Ponte Vedra so quick clearance and dissemination of information was critical. After assessing the scene FHP activated RISC and Walt’s was en route.
The TMC remained very busy from the start of that event to the conclusion. Initial duties included locating on CCTV, gathering facts through various sources and disseminating that as quickly and accurately as possible. Clear and concise details provided responders with information to expedite response and promoted those quick clearance goals. While all of that is in motion the TMC created events in our Advanced Traffic Management Software (SunGuide) for the accident and congestion. Information was posted to DMS on the interstate as well as arterials to help divert traffic. Messages were posted on the Airport Road DMS and on I-95 to tell people headed into town about the southbound closure. Messages were posted to all platforms of 511 and information was shared with the media to help get the word out. The TMC even coordinated with the City of Jacksonville’s Signal Office to make signal timing changes to help traffic flow through the detour and alleviate congestion on the affected arterials. Talk about a TEAM effort.
Walt’s responded the way Walt’s always does, prepared and ready to work. They arrived on scene 36 minutes after being called despite the congestion. FHP gave them the notice to proceed at 11:30AM and Walt’s was done and out of there 65 minutes later. Broad Spectrum pulled their Maintenance of Traffic (MOT) and the travel lanes were all open, in both directions, at 12:38PM. What could have run into a PM rush or prevented some of the 36,000 people headed to the Player’s Championship ended well.
According to Federal Highway Administration (FHWA):
The end goal for the National Traffic Incident Management (TIM) Responder Training Program (L12/ L32A/L32B) is to train all 1 million emergency responders in the United States over the next decade. Read more
District 2 Trainings
|Year||Train The Trainer||Responder Training||Total|
In order for incident responders to meet the challenges of working together and effectively working a traffic incident scene, they must be trained in the core competencies of traffic incident management. On October 26, 2015 fifteen (15) new trainers became certified to provide the 4-hour SHRP2 Responder Course.
The SHRP2 TIM Responder Train-the-Trainer Course is intended to provide course participants the knowledge and materials necessary to conduct TIM training for TIM responders. The program includes classroom training and hands-on/outdoor activities. Once trainers have completed the course, they will have the ability and flexibility to train others.
Jacksonville (Duval County) is the largest land size and growing metropolitan area in the state of Florida. It is also a gateway for travelers heading, north, south and west. Combining these factors with local commuting traffic and on-going construction projects results in traffic congestion and inadvertent crashes. Addressing these crashes requires the teamwork of multiple agencies to manage the incident. These occurrences and the efforts demonstrated epitomize the objectives of the SHRP2 program.
A dedicated class for Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office (JSO) was conducted on October 7, 2015. Twenty-nine (29) attendees completed the course. Additional incident responders were invited to participate including Fire, EMS, FDOT, Towing, and Traffic Management Professionals. This training additionally included a session on Rapid Incident Scene Clearance (RISC). JSO will be partnering with Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) to assist in activing RISC at appropriate times.
RISC is an initiative that contracts towing companies to provide quick, safe clearance of large vehicle crashes, such as tractor trailers, box trucks, and boats that are overturned or damaged to the point where the vehicle cannot be towed by a smaller tow truck on the interstate. As part of the RISC contract, the towing company must respond with two heavy tow trucks, one of which must be a rotator, plus a support vehicle. The contractor must be at the scene within 60 minutes of notification and clear all travel lanes within 90 minutes of receiving a notice to proceed.