Roughly 80 first responders from across Nebraska recently participated in a Traffic Incident Management or TIM live field exercise hosted by the Nebraska Department of Transportation and Nebraska State Patrol.
[Above photo by Nebraska DOT]
The Traffic Incident Response Exercise or TIMEX, held at the Law Enforcement Training Center in Grand Island, NE, included law enforcement officers, fire and rescue personnel, emergency medical services, transportation agencies, towing and recovery professionals, notification and dispatch personnel, hazardous materials management responders, coroners and medical examiners, and public works professionals from across the state.
Vicki Kramer, Nebraska DOT’s director, said this multi-disciplinary training exercise provided an opportunity to expose first responders to different aspects of a crash response, and foster an environment to discuss best practices, lessons learned, and strategies for a cohesive response.
“Our emergency responders dedicate their lives to providing for our safety, and their safety is our priority too,” she explained in a statement.
“We’ve been planning TIMEX for months, and the need for such training became apparent this fall with the loss of two Nebraska DOT teammates,” Kramer added. “This month, we turn our eye to safety of our responders and roadside workers [during] Crash Responder Safety Week November 13-17. We want to show our support by continuing to invest in the skills and knowledge of our teams. At the end of the day, it’s all about our people.”
Nebraska DOT said each TIMEX scenario incorporated key focuses on TIM fundamentals and terminology, incident command, interagency communications, and scene safety. Participants worked side-by-side to walk through scenarios involving livestock emergencies; hazardous materials spills; safe roadway clearance strategies – known as “push, pull, drag, drive” tactics; expedited crash investigation; and air ambulance operations.
“Opportunities for responders to collaborate with those of different disciplines don’t come around as frequently as we’d like,” noted Colonel John Bolduc, superintendent of law enforcement and public safety for the Nebraska State Patrol. “Busy schedules, staffing, and the everyday demands of life make it difficult, but those challenges don’t overshadow the critical need to have this type joint training.”
“Great efficiency in these situations means enhanced safety. We’re able to work together with other responders to address the situation, care for those involved, clear the roadway, and get traffic flowing again,” added Major Jeff Wilcynski of the Nebraska State Patrol. “Every minute saved in response to a crash reduces the risk of secondary crashes,” he pointed out. “This partnership has held over 100 training classes in Nebraska and has trained more than 250 agencies and 2,000 individual responders.”