Emergency and Incident Management

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1 I. Emergency Transportation Operations II. III. Emergency Restrictions Global Detours IV. Incident Management Manual (Pub 911) V. MPO Traffic Incident Management I. Emergency Transportation Operations The Emergency Transportation Operations (ETO) is an adaption of the National Incident Management System (NIMS) standards and Incident Command System (ICS) guidelines appropriated to deal with emergencies that affect transportation infrastructure. It is specifically designed to enable PennDOT to protect and achieve its core mission and goals, rather than employing the generic structure that is prescribed by FEMA. When enacted, it does not change the mission of PennDOT. The model is used by PennDOT to change command and management functions due to: Change in work load or type cause by natural or man-made events Change in personnel, equipment, material or information resource demands and supplies Change in public expectations for management and operation of the transportation system Any and all man-made and natural events significantly affecting highway infrastructure and monitoring public safety Support local, state, and national agency efforts to ensure Continuity of Government. The ETO model applies to all hazards and focuses on effects rather than causes. Incident Command System (ICS) Standardized on-scene incident management concept designed to allow responders to adopt an integrated organizational structure equal to the complexity and demands of the incident at hand. Implementation of an ICS removes jurisdictional boundaries which previously hindered emergency response operations. Enacting an ICS aims to minimize the possibility of the following occurring during emergency operations: Too many people reporting to one supervisor Different emergency response organizational structures Lack of reliable incident information Inadequate and incompatible communications Lack of structure for coordinated planning among agencies Unclear lines of authority Terminology differences among agencies Unclear or unspecified incident objectives

2 PennDOT uses the following structures during Incident Response: The Counties, Districts, and Central Office all employ the ETO at their respective level o Each level has different responsibilities Area Command and District Incident Command structures are activated when predetermined events that require heightened level of response are forecasted (weather, large scale community events, etc.) o Area Command is a 24/7/365 operation o Activation increases staffing levels to respond to developing circumstances Liaison with other partnering agencies (PEMA, PSP, etc.) occurs through the activation of Area Command, PEMA s State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC) and the conduct of the Emergency Support Function (ESF) teams. Area Command monitors all aspects of incident management across the Commonwealth including traffic conditions, weather events, construction projects, as well as unplanned events including traffic accidents, natural disasters and medical emergencies. When activated, Area Command is located at the SEOC at PEMA headquarters, and maintains oversight of operations of all District Incident Command Centers. II. Emergency Restrictions Highway restriction protocols are a combined effort on behalf of PennDOT, PSP, PEMA, and include PennDOT County, District, and Area Command in the decision to enact and maintain restrictions. Although restrictions can be initiated during inclement weather or hazardous conditions, most restrictions are most often initiated during winter weather events. Restriction protocols have been developed to be phased in depending on the intensity of the weather event. Restrictions begin with warnings to motorists and expand to a total closure of the highway system. There are five basic levels of action that can be anticipated: DMS/HAR will be used when conditions may be changing and an added level of driver awareness is needed. Speed limit reduction is considered when significant icing, heavy snow cover or potential high wind activity is predicted or occurring. Commercial vehicle restrictions are considered in heavy snow, predictable icing, or high winds. Interstate on-ramp restrictions require a Governor s Declaration of Emergency and prevent additional traffic from entering a highway with this restriction enacted. Main line interstate restrictions require a Governor s Declaration of emergency and completely restrict all nonemergency vehicle access to the highway system with this restriction enacted. However, it must be noted that all protocols involve close coordination of communication and situational awareness at all levels of PennDOT operations to ensure emergency response partners are aware of the restrictions in place. Restriction consideration begins with a recommendation at the County level. County recommendations are received at the District level through the Incident Command Center and forwarded to Area Command for review. Area Command then coordinates the appropriate restriction with all partners (PEMA, PSP, neighboring states, etc.) and enacts the restriction. Area Command has the authority to extend a restriction into neighboring corridors based on predicted and current conditions. However, restrictions can only be enacted at the Area Command level by the Area Commander, Deputy Secretary for Highway Administration, or the Secretary of Transportation.

3 PennDOT has performed two studies on 45 MPH restrictions. One to determine if incidents declined when a 45 MPH restriction was in place vs when they were not in place and the other to determine if they were being implemented at the appropriate time. Evaluation of Timing Crash data from the previous two winters ( , ) were compiled based on data logs for interstate closures across Pennsylvania in RCRS. The crash data was pulled from CDART for all dates that had an interstate closure and each crash was evaluated to determine if it was winter weather related. If it was determined that the crash was winter weather related, a further evaluation was performed to determine if the 45 MPH advisory speed was in place. As identified in the attached chart and summarized in the table below, a significantly greater number of crashes, fatalities, and injuries occurred on Pennsylvania s Interstate System when the 45 MPH advisory speed was not deployed. Over the past two winters, the interstate system has been closed 294 hours due to the lack of deployment of the advisory speed. While examining the data, there were several instances noted that the crashes occurred on interstates that had advisory speeds deployed in different counties, but not the county where the crash occurred. Further, some of the crashes that caused the closures appeared to be the impetus for the advisory speed deployment, as the posting of the advisory speed occurred a few hours after the closure.

4 Evaluation of Implementation Crash data from the previous two winters ( , ) were compiled based on data logs for 45 MPH activation in RCRS. The data were compiled for all dates and routes that had the 45 MPH advisory speed activated, and it was noted where the activation occurred since most activations were not state-wide. The crash data compiled were the number of crashes, fatalities, injuries, and the number of vehicles involved. It was identified if the crash occurred 2 hours prior to implementation, 1 hour prior to implementation, during implementation, 1 hour post implementation, and 2 hours post implementation. The goal was to determine how effective the activation time was by finding out if a majority of the crashes occurred during the activation time rather than outside of the window. As identified in the chart below, a majority (69%) of the crashes occurred during the advisory speed s implementation window. The bar chart resembles a bell curve that indicates success in the implementation of the 45 MPH advisory speed over the previous two winters. The data was also evaluated to determine if PennDOT s performance is improving or declining. As indicated in the Table above, the data shows that PennDOT has been successful in reducing the crashes leading up to the implementation of the advisory speed. These crashes are more frequently captured during the implementation window. There is a slight

5 upward trend in the crashes following the advisory s removal as well. III. Global Detours Global Detour Routes are large scale workarounds that can be implemented when there is an expected closure on an interstate that will last in excess of 2-4 hours. The detours are coordinated with contiguous states, across regions within the Commonwealth, across multiple Districts and Counties. The goals of implementation of a Global Detour Route are: Remove main line traffic from an interstate on which a major incident has occurred Put that traffic flow onto a route that can handle the influx of capacity Get the traveling public to their destination with minimal confusion and loss of time The decision to implement a Global Detour Route rests on many factors including: Estimation of duration of incident Traffic queue (trapped or un-trapped) Time of day & ADT of route

6 Recommendation to implement a Global Detour starts with the on-scene incident response unit that PennDOT deploys. Once an incident size-up determines that a Global Detour may be needed, the on-scene Incident Commander for PennDOT will contact the Regional Traffic Management Center (RTMC). Once the RTMC is notified, all possible avenues of information must be analyzed before a recommendation to institute is made to Area Command. The RTMC must then confer with the District Incident Command Center and County Operations that deployment of the Global Detour is sensible, and then contact Area Command to have the activation approved. Area Command will notify PEMA, PSP, contiguous states, etc. and ensure that the RTMC has deployed the appropriate Intelligent Traffic System (ITS) devices to notify the traveling public of the incident and the available alternative route to deter further traffic from building up around the incident. Once the determination to institute a Global Detour has been made, the information must be updated in the Road Condition Reporting System (RCRS) and 511PA, both on the website and within the telephone access information system. Oftentimes, contiguous states are requested to display information about our enacted Global Detour Route on their ITS devices on major routes affected heading into Pennsylvania that a long term incident is occurring, and there is available an alternate route. IV. Incident Management Manual (Pub 911) Developed in concurrence with our Maintenance Manual (Publication 23), the All-Hazards Incident Management Manual (Publication 911) and its Appendices (Publication 911B) is designed to provide field personnel, County management, District staff and Central Office personnel within PennDOT a one-stop-shop for incident response protocol and emergency management practices regarding planned and unplanned events. The manual is a set of guidelines that recommends processes to follow when encountering certain circumstances in the field, whereas Chapter 9 of the Maintenance Manual sets forth the policies that PennDOT personnel must adhere to during emergency operations. These manuals are designed to not only serve PennDOT in its incident response capacity, but also to provide a platform for interaction with business partners regarding coordination of effort during times of duress. As incident management is an ever-changing practice, the manuals are designed to be updated as new best practices are discovered, as federal, state or local laws are changed or enacted, and as the normal business operations of PennDOT evolve. Information covered in Pub 911B Preface Joint Operational Statement Chapter 1 All-Hazards Incident Management Introduction Chapter 2 Strategic Activities Chapter 3 Tactical Activities & Operations Chapter 4 Support Activities Chapter 5 Traffic Management Center (TMC) Interaction Information covered in Pub 911B Appendix A Standard Operations Protocols and Guidelines Appendix B Best Practices acquired from various Districts regarding incident response items Appendix C Checklists for Tactical Operations Appendix D PennDOT Responsibilities Review Tools Appendix E Emergency Transportation Operations (ETO) Manual Appendix F Incident Response Documents

7 Within each of these chapters and appendices lies information critical to the integrity of PennDOT s mission and goals during times of emergency and incident response. V. MPO Traffic Incident Management Southwestern Pennsylvania Commission (SPC) The mission of SPC's Traffic Incident Management (TIM) Program is to help regional organizations enhance the delivery of traffic incident management services and products for the purpose of improving responder safety, clearing crashes from the roadway as quickly and safely as possible, and improving the availability and reliability of interoperable incident communications. To accomplish this mission, SPC facilitates a dialogue between leadership and practitioners involved in all aspects of traffic incident management. By bringing these disciplines together on a regular basis, improvements in interagency traffic incident management will be achieved due to better collaboration, cooperation, coordination and communication. In the past few years, SPC has facilitated the formation of 5 new local TIM teams in the Southwestern Pennsylvania region.

8 For more detailed information on SPC's TIM program, please visit: Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission (DVRPC) DVRPC is the federally designated Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) for the nine-county region covering Greater Philadelphia, PA. DVRPC has served the region for 50 years, including 352 municipalities in two states (New Jersey and Pennsylvania) with approximately 5.5 million residents. While the MPO provides a multitude of services to this region, DVRPC s Office of Transportation Operations Management leads the region s Traffic Incident Management (TIM) program, which includes managing the Incident Management Task Force (IMTF) program and providing software solutions to improve incident management responses and foster interagency coordination, such as IDRuM and RIMIS, which are explained below. DVRPC launched its TIM Program in Since then, it has administered and supported eight traffic incident management task forces within the region and developed two software programs to improve incident management responses and foster interagency coordination. Corridor Based IMTFs Establishing IMTFs is a collaborative effort among the Pennsylvania and New Jersey Departments of Transportation (DOTs), and the Pennsylvania and New Jersey State Police Departments. To date, DVRPC administers eight corridorbased IMTFs. The groups rotate meeting locations so that each organization has the opportunity to introduce their facilities and equipment. Most of the IMTFs meet on a quarterly basis. Through these meetings in a casual atmosphere away from the scene of an incident, emergency responders overcome interagency challenges by building relationships with each other. Typical meeting activities include post incident reviews, informational presentations, training, and updates on relevant construction projects. Interestingly, construction projects along a couple of the corridors served as the impetus to form a Task Force. To date, DVRPC has offered training to over 1000 responders in the region. Guided by NIMS principles and the NUG, DVRPC's TIM Program is also integrated into DVRPC's planning processes through the Long Range Plan, the Congestion Management Process, and the Transportation Operations Master Plan.

9 Sharing Resources: TIM Guidelines Because DVRPC is a bi-state MPO, it is the glue that holds the TIM program together in terms of sharing ideas among IMTFs and states. Perhaps the best example of this is the program s various TIM Guidelines. The first TIM Guidelines in the region was developed in one of the New Jersey groups the NJ SAFR (Southern Area First Responders) IMTF. Rather than recreating the wheel, a Pennsylvania group the I-476/I-76 Crossroads IMTF took these guidelines and modified it to fit their own needs. When the initial NJ task force was ready to update their document again, several best practices from the Pennsylvania document were incorporated. This back and forth sharing of information, facilitated by DVRPC, continues today as three other IMTFs are now in various stages of developing their own guidelines, each based on previous versions. While each of these documents includes similar core components, the regional messages differ to address each area s unique challenges and resources. Each group responsible for the development of these documents has taken ownership of style and content. In addition, under the leadership of the Attorney General s Office, New Jersey adopted statewide TIM Guidelines and DVRPC played a significant role facilitating this publication. On the Pennsylvania side, the first statewide TIM Guidelines are close to finalization and DVRPC is supporting PennDOT in this effort. Software Programs Interactive Detour Route Mapping (IDRuM) Application Easy-to-Use Detour Routes DVRPC developed the web-based IDRuM application that organizes all existing PennDOT and NJDOT Emergency Detour Routes within the DVRPC region into a manageable, easy-to-use interface. DVRPC has worked with the DOTs to update and reformat the detour route maps for all limited access highways within the region, replacing outdated paper maps with digital PDF maps. IDRuM compiles the PDF detour maps into a simple, "point-and-click" application. Ultimately, NJDOT's detour route maps for all New Jersey counties will be integrated into IDRuM, with the application being utilized statewide. IDRuM is available both in an online and offline version, with the offline version designed to give emergency responders access to the detour routes where internet access is limited or non-existent. Near future enhancements to the IDRuM application will include a mobile application. Regional Integrated Multimodal Information Sharing (RIMIS) Program RIMIS is a web-based information exchange network connecting highway operation centers, transit control centers, and 911 call centers in the Delaware Valley. RIMIS enables agencies to receive messages about incidents, construction and maintenance activity, and special events that impact highways and transit through video walls and maps. The overall motivation for RIMIS is to foster better communications and information-sharing between the many agencies in the region. RIMIS's objectives include: enable agencies to provide timely and clear notifications and information to other agencies; enable agencies to act on timely and clear incident notifications and information about the transportation system; increase the knowledge of the transportation "big picture ; and improve the interpretation of transportation information through utilization of common formats and protocols used by the "source" agencies. Responding partners can now better see exactly what is happening on the roadways. Through RIMIS, we can create customized Video Walls to allow responders to see the DOT s CCTVs in their specific response areas. Responders now review the video walls before responding to incidents to identify the best access route or possible equipment needed. Having this system has strengthened relationships between the DOTs and responding agencies.

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