Traffic Incident Management Resource Management
As part of the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) campaign to "Keep America Moving," a series of Primers were developed on Traffic Incident Management. The purpose of this guidebook is to:
- Identify and explore opportunities for improvement in resource management by considering the most efficient and effective use of resources across all responding agencies.
- Describe potential cost-sharing strategies that would allow these efficiencies to be realized.
Traffic incident management (TIM) requires a coordinated, multi-disciplinary approach, involving law enforcement, fire and rescue, transportation, towing and recovery, and others, to safely and quickly clear a highway incident. Established multi-disciplinary operational training efforts attempt to minimize any inefficiencies or ineffectiveness in response actions by any one agency that may extend the necessary duration of the incident and/or compromise the safety of field personnel or the motoring public. The economic effects of this multi-disciplinary operational approach are most often tied to a reduction in overall incident duration and reported in monetary terms as a reduction in motorist delay, fuel consumption, harmful emissions, and/or secondary incidents involving either other motorists or response personnel.
This same multi-disciplinary approach has not been as widely extended to the area of resource management. To optimize incident management efficiency and effectiveness from a resource management point of view, personnel and equipment should be best matched to tasks based on their respective level of training and/or capabilities. The most efficient and effective use of resources across all responding agencies in combination, economic savings are anticipated and attributable to the:
- Utilization of personnel who are best qualified (i.e., capable, but not over-qualified) for the various tasks (this, in turn, allows alternately skilled personnel to focus on other incident management functions).
- Utilization of appropriate equipment by function (i.e., use of the least costly equipment capable of performing the function).
- Utilization of appropriate technology capable of supporting various on-site resource tasks.
- Reduction in overall resources required through reduced redundancy across disciplines.
The benefits of multidisciplinary TIM operations are most often tied to a reduction in overall incident duration and reported in monetary terms as a reduction in motorist delay, fuel consumption, harmful emissions, and/or secondary incidents involving either other motorists or response personnel.
A Case Study in Maryland reported the following benefits:
- Reduction in Average incident duration of 28.6 percent.
- Reduction in Vehicle-hours of delay of approximately 30 million.
- Reduction in Fuel consumption of approximately 5 million gallons of fuel.
- Reduction in Secondary crashes by 377 incidents.