Every time a crash occurs on the roads, the clock starts ticking. That’s because incidents large and small create risks on the road that impact responder and traveler safety, while costing taxpayers millions every year. When an incident occurs, local responders, such as law enforcement; fire/rescue; emergency medical services; transportation; and towing and recovery, spring into action. These responders all put their lives at risk while working in or near traffic. Many are being injured or killed doing their jobs.
The Wisconsin Department of Transportation has established the Traffic Incident Management Enhancement (TIME) Program to:
This approach is promoted by holding meetings in each of the state’s five regions, maintaining a training program, and providing agencies with the tools, training, and affordable access to traffic management materials.
The program, initiated in 1995, is a sustained initiative for assessing needs, developing solutions and strategies, and fostering the transportation-public safety partnerships that are essential for effective TIM.
Each traffic incident is unique. Therefore, one of the most effective ways to enhance quick clearance and improve safety is to regularly debrief incidents that have occurred. The purpose of an incident debriefing is to evaluate decisions made and actions taken during an incident. Evaluations are then used to identify best practices, and opportunities for improvement.
An incident debriefing can be held for any type or size of incident, but it is highly recommended that all major incidents be debriefed. Effective debriefings provide a forum in which conflicts and inefficiencies are identified and steps are taken to resolve or eliminate them. Debriefings can also help open lines of communication and foster relationships among responders.
It is essential that incident debriefings be multi-agency, multi-discipline and should include all agencies and personnel that were involved with the incident, including dispatchers. Incident debriefings can be initiated by any agency involved in the response to an incident.
The TIME Program Incident Debrief form can be found below. The form is intended to assist agencies in gathering and disseminating incident details and can be completed by any agency involved in the response to a traffic incident.
The TIME Meetings for 2014 have just been completed. TIME Meeting dates for 2015 are in the works and will be announced shortly.