WASHINGTON – Officials from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) today recognized the U.S. Fire Administration’s National Fire Academy with a plaque honoring its inaugural class of first responders to complete FHWA’s new “Traffic Incident Management” (TIM) train-the-trainers course in Emmitsburg, Md.
“Safety is our top priority,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. “These train-the-trainer programs help get vital safety information to our first responders – the men and women who are the first to arrive at a highway crash – and are the difference between life and death for so many every day.”
During a special ceremony at the Academy, nearly 300 firefighters were recognized for their roles in learning safer practices at highway accident scenes that will protect firefighters and drivers alike. The course will be offered at the Academy again this October.
By training fire crews, ambulance drivers and other first responders how to properly protect their work areas while clearing wreckage and freeing accident victims, FHWA’s “Traffic Incident Management” course helps to protect emergency workers and reduce traffic congestion caused by roadway crashes. The course is a part of FHWA’s ongoing “Every Day Counts” initiative, promotes a more effective, multi-agency incident response and improves safety for first responders.
FHWA initiated the course in 2012. Since then, training sessions held at various locations nationwide have prepared over 50,000 firefighters and other first responders. The course is a central component to the safety mission of the Strategic Highway Research Program, a large-scale cooperative research program funded by Congress and administered by FHWA in coordination with the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials and the Transportation Research Board.
“Each year, an average of nearly 80 first responders and tow-truck operators are struck and killed responding to accidents on U.S. roads and bridges,” said FHWA Acting Administrator Greg Nadeau. “Our goal is to train over one million responders over the next decade to keep America’s roads safe for everyone.”
FHWA plans to conduct at least one training course in every state, including Washington D.C. and Puerto Rico, this year – training thousands of first responders, including over 3,500 instructors who train state traffic incident response teams.