FHWA TIM News - Resources for Strengthening Local TIM Practices

Aerial view of an intersection incident with TIM responders

Dear TIM Colleagues:

As Traffic Incident Management (TIM) responder communities across our Nation tackle broader day-to-day operating challenges, we want to take a moment to share a significant milestone—that of 500,000+ responders completing the National TIM Responder Training. Within this newsletter, we provide context for this milestone. Also in this newsletter:

  • Texas Uses Virtual Platform to Train 77 New TIM Trainers
  • FHWA Offered Free Virtual Train-the-Trainer Courses in June 2021
  • Resources for Strengthening Local TIM Practices
  • Grand Prairie Fire Department Traffic Management Attenuator Blocker Project

Be safe,

Jim Austrich and Paul Jodoin, FHWA TIM Program Managers

Half Million Responders TIM Trained

One of the leading causes of death and injury for emergency responders is being struck by other vehicles while responding to roadway incidents. Teaching traffic incident responders how to protect themselves while helping others is a continuing priority because of their high-risk jobs. That is why having 500,000 professionals trained in TIM is a significant milestone and the half-mark towards the national goal of 1,000,000 professionals completing the National TIM Responder training.

The National TIM Responder Training helps responders reduce their risk while managing roadway crashes. The training was developed in 2012 through partnerships with law enforcement, fire and rescue, emergency medical service, towing, transportation, public works, and other responder communities across our Nation. The half-day course provides good practices for emergency responders to safely and quickly clear crash scenes.

TIM responders have reaped significant rewards from the training. For example, the Houston Fire Department responders reduced crash scene time by 40 percent, and fire apparatus struck-at-incident scenes by 25 percent after the National TIM Responder Training.

The FHWA offers the National TIM Responder Training for free to responders in every State, as well as the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. For more information, visit the FHWA TIM Responder Training site.

From 1,200 trained in year 2012, to 244,000 in 2016, year 2020 marks 500,000 completing the National TIM Responder training.

Texas Uses a Virtual Platform to Train 77 New TIM Trainers

In Texas, where the TIM training is mandated for all law enforcement and firefighter professionals, there just weren't enough certified TIM trainers. David McDonald, the Texas Department of Transportation (TXDOT) TIM Coordinator, stepped up to bridge the trainer gap by using conferencing software to conduct three virtual Train-the-Trainer (T-t-T) courses earlier this year.

Virtual delivery offered a key advantage—eliminating travel times or the need for overnight accommodations, but also required overcoming technology challenges—such as poor internet speeds, desktops without a microphone, or access to a shared laptop. Organizers tackled these challenges by sharing the materials in advance and having a dedicated staff monitor and communicate chat messaging. They also changed instruction structure, opting for mini-breaks every hour, safety service patrol videos to complement the course, and smaller breakout sessions for traditional tabletop exercises. In all, TXDOT's three virtual T-t-T classes led to 77 certified TIM trainers in Texas, many already delivering this critical training.

FHWA Offered Free Virtual Train-the-Trainer Courses in June 2021

The Federal Highway Administration offered four free virtual Train-the-Trainer (TtT) classes in June 2021 to expand States' cadre of qualified National TIM Responder Training Program trainers. The eight-hour TtT course provides participants (i.e., trainers) the knowledge and materials necessary to conduct TIM training for responders in their area or State.

Training sessions were offered at different times on weekdays and weekends to accommodate varied responder community schedules. Across four virtual sessions, 99 individuals from 26 States and Greece participated. These individuals represented law enforcement, transportation, fire and rescue, towing, EMS, transportation, and other disciplines. Some State points of contact for TIM Training also attended to learn sound practices for hosting virtual training classes.

The free virtual TtT course is open to individuals from all 50 States, D.C., and Puerto Rico, but each session is limited to 30 participants. Requirements for participation include:

  • Prior instructional and TIM experience
  • Commitment to providing training to other TIM responders in your area
  • Commitment to submitting your training records

If you have any questions regarding this training or would like to express interest in upcoming virtual TtT classes, please contact the TIM Training Help Desk at (414) 410-6808 or FHWATIMTraining@hntb.com.

Resources for Strengthening Local TIM Practices

Map shows 36 blue-colored States that are participating in the Next Generation TIM program.

The FHWA Every Day Counts Round Six (EDC-6) Next Generation TIM (NGTIM) team hosted meetings with TIM leaders in 36 States. These meetings helped the NGTIM team capture State and local TIM needs, and formulate plans to advance agencies' use of TIM technologies, data, and training.

Each State clarified one or more focus areas to advance over the EDC-6 period, summarized in the table below. Multiple local agencies across many States will adopt low-to-no-cost practices such as regular stakeholder meetings, after-action reviews, developing unified command policies, and using free crowdsourced data for better incident detection. Some local agencies will also invest in strategies such as specialty tow programs, safety service patrol, and intelligent transportation systems.

Graph illustrates 7 to 15 States focusing on seven areas for advancing TIM

Whether your local agency is among the NGTIM participating States or not, the FHWA EDC-6 NGTIM initiative is available to deliver workshops, webinars, technical support, and marketing collateral to initiate and strengthen local TIM programs in your region. Please visit the FHWA Next Generation TIM Site to access resources or reach out to the initiative co-leads, Paul Jodoin or Jim Austrich.

Grand Prairie Fire Department TMA Blocker Project

Captain John Stevenson, the Special Operations Coordinator for the Grand Prairie Fire Department in Texas, spoke during the March 2021 Talking TIM Webinar about their agency's $65,000 investment to outfit traffic management attenuators (TMAs) to the rear of the apparatus frames on two fire trucks. TMAs are sacrificial mobile crash cushions that provide responders greater safety, protect the fire truck apparatus, and reduce the crash impact, saving the lives of motorists and responders.

Listen to Captain Stevenson's presentation to learn more about this TIM technology, view any of the 25+ past webinars in this series, or register for the upcoming Talking TIM webinar.

The FHWA Every Day Counts Round Six (EDC-6) Next Generation TIM (NGTIM) team hosted meetings with TIM leaders in 36 States. These meetings helped the NGTIM team capture State and local TIM needs, and formulate plans to advance agencies' use of TIM technologies, data, and training.

Image of Grand Prarie fire truck with a traffic management attenuator
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Let us know how this newsletter can help. Send your feedback, recommendations, and questions to Jim Austrich (james.austrich@dot.gov), Paul Jodoin (paul.jodoin@dot.gov), or Joseph Tebo (Joeseph.Tebo@dot.gov).