Mass Responder Training
Aug 11, 2021 3:00 PM – 4:30 PM EST
The FHWA TIM Program’s Jim Austrich debuted the new name, Crash Responder Safety Week (CRSW), that the week will commence November 8 – 14, 2021 and that the National CRSW Committee will soon make available a social media toolkit with day-of-week themes for CRSW as follows:
- Monday, Nov 8 – Governor’s Proclamations or Multiagency Press Release
- Tuesday, Nov 9 – Slow Down, Move Over
- Wednesday, Nov 10 – Responder Training
- Thursday, Nov 11 – Honoring Veterans
- Friday, Nov 12 – Recognizing Responders
- Saturday, Nov 13 – Traffic Incident Awareness
- Sunday, Nov 14 – Driver Education
This webinar also featured experts from two States that conducted mass training for CRSW:
David McDonald (Texas Department of Transportation Statewide TIM Program Manager) noted that with Texas being a large state, it was crucial to start the planning early and to engage regional TIM leaders and creative staff from the start. Highlights from his presentation included:
- Texas requires all new police officers to take the National TIM Responder training, and that the training is a part of the police academy. Also, firefighters are required to be TIM trained. A challenge that Texas now faces with the mandate is a shortage of trainers.
- He noted that the coordination of activities for the mass training was achieved through involving all the regional TIM trainers, TIM leaders, MPOs, COGs and PIOs. The process of coordinating the activities started with a call with stakeholders, discussing CRSW activities to make an impact.
- David shared that the planning efforts started with a statewide call in August of last year, during which the DOT, COGs, MPOs, consultants, training academy instructors, and colleges (that have training academies) participated. He noted that the goal for the call was to promote the large-scale training, which, due to the pandemic, was held virtually. He shared that they held a day-and-a-half train-the-trainer course, attended by 29 participants across the State, representing their HERO programs and law enforcement as well as instructors at local college academies.
- David mentioned that the traditional tabletop exercise was made feasible using a Google Maps online tool from the FHWA.
- He noted that aside from mass training, the State of Texas has used DMS messaging (slow down, move over) and handing out flyers for law enforcement to hand out on traffic stops.
- David also shared that another effort for the awareness week was to record testimonial videos from responders to raise awareness on responder experiences as they respond to traffic incidents. These video recordings from five responders were shared with the public to inform them that traffic incidents disrupt not only traffic but also impact the lives of responders and their families.
- Lastly, David shared the activities that Texas is planning during 2021, which included resharing the testimonial videos with the public, using the DMS across the State to promote the messaging of Move Over, Slow Down, passing flyers, and conduct training during the awareness week.
Angela Barnett (Arizona Professional Towing and Recovery Association Executive Director) noted that the first step in organizing the mass training is to get organized, have a plan, and have a core team of participating agencies, which included the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT), Arizona Department of Public Safety, Arizona Department of Health Services, FHWA representative, Maricopa County Department of Transportation, Arizona Professional Towing Association, and Mesa Fire (fire representation).
- She mentioned that the goal was to have 300 students trained; however, on the day of training, which was held in person, 321 students (of the 444 that registered for the training) showed up and took the course.
- Of the 321 trainees, 80 were law enforcement officers, 103 were firefighters, 48 were emergency medical services personnel, 75 were DOT, 24 were towers and two others.
- Angela noted that they planned to have the training across eight locations around Arizona, so in the planning efforts, they had to schedule locations and instructors, as well as a location with an appropriate size and set up for a car collision response demonstration. She mentioned that ADOT does the setup for the TIM classes since they are held every month, several times a month. The registration was set up through Eventzilla, and marketing was done from all agencies in the core team.
- She shared that the announcement was also done through press releases and encourage the media to cover the training. She encouraged other States to put enough time and effort in the planning stages and to include practice runs. Lastly, she noted that the planning included the setup for the training certificates (distributed by ADOT within a week of the training) and the after-action review to discuss the feedback received from the trainees as well as how the training went and what to improve upon.
During the second half of this All-State Webinar, TIM communities from the following States and national associations share preliminary plans to commemorate CRSW:
- New Jersey
- New York
- North Carolina
- Puerto Rico
- ITS America
- National Volunteer Fire Council