U.S. Department of Transportation Highlights Safety for Emergency Responders on Our Nation’s Roads as part of Crash Responder Safety Week
More than 700,000 responders trained under FHWA’s lifesaving, best practices training program
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WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) today joined organizations throughout the country to call for increased safety on the roadways for emergency responders – law enforcement, fire, emergency medical services, towing and recovery, transportation and public works and other responders – who risk their lives while saving others in honor of Crash Responder Safety Week (CRSW).
The goal of CRSW is to bring public attention to the hardworking people who risk their own safety to save lives at a crash scene. CRSW runs from November 13-17 and is a national effort to both protect responders who are at the scene of highway crashes and remind the public of their responsibility to use caution when driving near roadside incidents involving emergency personnel. This year’s theme is “Protect Those Who Protect You.”
“Crash responders are usually the first to arrive on scene and act quickly to save the lives of others while their own lives are at stake,” said Federal Highway Administrator Shailen Bhatt. “We owe our nation’s first responders a huge debt of gratitude for the work they do – not only during Crash Responder Safety Week, but all 52 weeks of the year. On behalf of the U.S. Department of Transportation, we are committed to improving safety for all road users and that includes responders who deserve to go home safely to their families as well.”
FHWA launched Traffic Incident Management (TIM) training in 2012 designed by and for responders to help teams of police, firefighters, highway workers, and emergency medical services and towing personnel ensure safe and effective coordination at a crash scene. In the training, responders learn a common set of effective practices, including quick clearance techniques that improve communications and reduce the amount of time needed to remain on scene.
To date, more than 700,000 responders have been trained with the TIM training program, representing all 50 States, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. The training goes together with TIM tools, technologies, and policies to improve the safety of responders. The free training also allows responders to step back from the job of helping others to make sure they know the best practices to protect themselves.
USDOT officials also highlighted the Department’s comprehensive approach to safety through the National Roadway Safety Strategy (NRSS), which adopts the Safe System Approach to improving safety. This strategy that will help States, cities, and counties work toward USDOT’s ambitious goal of zero roadway fatalities was launched in January 2022 and addresses the rise in deaths on our nation’s roads. Under the NRSS, post-crash care is one of five elements of a Safe System Approach focused on ensuring people in crashes survive through expeditious and robust medical care. Effective Traffic Incident Management practices create a safe working environment for first responders, and prevent secondary crashes to provide care to people in crashes.
The Department has also launched the next phase of the NRSS, the Call to Action campaign, and released a one-year progress report with accompanying data visualizations that highlight the extent and magnitude of the U.S. roadway safety problem and ways to eventually bring the number of deaths on our roads to zero. For more information on the National Roadway Safety Strategy, please see https://www.transportation.gov/NRSS.
For more information on TIM training and tools, visit https://ops.fhwa.dot.gov/tim/index.htm.
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