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Severe Incident Response Vehicle (SIRV) Arterial Patrol



  • How retired enforcement officers, fire rescue workers and military personnel bring their extensive emergency training to Severe Incident Repose Vehicle (SIVR) operations.
  • How the SIRV system can be successfully implemented for Arterial Management Programs (AMP) giving county arterial managers the ability to contact SIRV operators when an incident is detected.
  • How SIRV saved an estimated $170,068 - $254,405 in just two months of arterial patrol in South Florida.


In 2004, the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) recognized that a state presence was needed on interstate highways when a lane blocking event was expected to last two or more hours. As a result, in 2005 the Severe Incident Response Vehicle (SIRV) team was created. SIRV is designed to mitigate the delays caused by severe traffic incidents on interstates by providing a safer work zone for emergency responders. To best implement this coordination, an important requirement of the SIRV program is to employ retired law enforcement officers, fire rescue workers or military personnel. These staff members with backgrounds that include extensive emergency response training provide the necessary tools and knowledge to serve as an official FDOT incident commander on any incident scene.

After observing outstanding continued success with District Four’s Severe Incident Response Vehicle (SIRV) Program on South Florida’s major interstates, managers decided to apply the same incident management efforts onto Broward County’s arterial roadways. District Four’s SIRV program launched arterial coverage for Broward County on July 29, 2019.

TSMO Planning, Strategies, and Deployment

The goal of FDOT District Four's TSMO program is to provide a framework for active management of its transportation network. To achieve this goal, District Four established the Arterial Management Program (AMP) to actively monitor, manage, and improve arterial operations along major corridors. AMP strives to move vehicles and pedestrians quickly, efficiently, and safely along arterial roadways by using Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) tools throughout the district. While AMP staff could monitor traffic conditions, detect incidents, and collect travel-time data, the program lacked an incident management component.

By expanding the SIRV patrol to the arterials, AMP operators now had the ability to contact SIRV operators when an incident is detected. SIRV’s primary focus on the arterials is to establish a controlled area for local police, fire and towing agencies through proper maintenance of traffic. Once the scene is secure, SIRV assists in debris removal, lane closures, and incident support.

Communications Planning and Execution

The communication process began as a coordinated effort between the following agencies:

  • Broward Sheriff’s Office (BSO)
  • Davie, FL
  • Ft. Lauderdale, FL
  • Hallandale, FL
  • Hollywood, FL
  • Lauderhill, FL
  • Miramar, FL
  • Pembroke Pines, FL
  • Plantation, FL

As an incident is identified by AMP operators through closed circuit television cameras, SIRV is then dispatched to the area. If the incident is first detected by a city agency, then the information is forwarded to AMP operators who then dispatch SIRV to assist.

Outcomes, Benefits and Learnings

SIRV measures their success by documenting reductions in the length of time individual lanes are blocked (Lane Blockage Time Savings), the length of time other responders are required to remain on scene (Agency Time Savings) and the duration of the event as a whole (Incident Time Savings). Since beginning the Arterial Patrol on July 29, 2019, SIRV has responded to and assisted in 100 lane blocking events and documented the following time savings:

  • Incident Time Savings: 627 minutes
  • Lane Blockage Time Savings: 747 minutes
  • Agency Time Savings: 250 minutes

Even more notable, using the Federal Highway Administration’s lane closure reduction calculation, SIRV saved an estimated $170,068 - $254,405 in just two months of arterial patrol. Which is indicative of an average reduction in lane blockage time of just under 6.4 minutes per event. It is clear the added incident management component to the arterials drastically improved traffic conditions for motorists in Broward County. As of September, SIRV operates one dedicated truck in the arterial roadways between 6 a.m. and 7 p.m. Monday through Friday. However, due to their impressive results, an implementation plan is underway to increase SIRV’s patrol hours and response fleet to two dedicate trucks patrolling from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. Also, after conducting post analysis on the arterial event trends, it was noted that 10 percent of arterial lane blockages are attributed to disabled vehicles needing fuel. Thus to better respond to these incidents, SIRV vehicles are now equipped with gasoline and diesel fuel.

SIRV’s highly technical presence on scene during arterial incidents enhances TSMO’s transportation efforts while providing local law enforcement the added security and safety they desperately needed.

Further Information:

SIRV Standard Operating Procedures

NOCoE Knowledge Center


Operations Area of Practice

    Active Traffic Management (ATM)
    Corridor and Arterial Traffic Management

Content Type

Case Studies & Lessons Learned

Publishing Organization

Issue Date