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17 of the nationally standardized IMSs for some years, with the beneficial in that they have encouraged responders to be more fire service having the longest experience. These procedures actively involved in cooperatively managing highway inci- are now becoming even more formal and standardized as the dents. They have also inspired responders to work toward a Department of Homeland Security establishes the National common goal of enhancing responder and traveler safety IMS (NIMS). The procedures will soon be mandatory for all while opening the highway more quickly following an inci- agencies that respond to emergency incidents, and federal dent. The improved communication and understanding of the funding will require that it be followed. The use of NIMS will operational roles and responsibilities of each response agency probably be extended into the non-emergency incident fosters coordination and cooperation among all the response realm as well, if only to maintain consistency and to practice agencies. procedures. Transportation responders are just beginning to Drills and exercises are another effective way for trans- assume some roles within incident management, but they portation and public safety agencies to train together. WSDOT need to better integrate their activities within the operational annually participates in earthquake response drills with the structures that are established for each transportation incident. King County, Seattle, Fire Department and the Seattle Police The responder in charge at a traffic incident is selected from Department. WSDOT is also in the process of planning mock those on the scene. For example, in some locations where state incidents with the Mercer Island Fire Department and the patrol or local police respond to traffic incidents, the officer Seattle Fire Department. An interesting idea under discus- who arrived first is in charge. If the incident involves fire or sion in Minneapolis involves crosstraining transportation and injuries, then the fire department or EMS unit may be in public safety field personnel in each other's duties as a way charge. If the problem involves only a highway repair or main- to increase mission awareness across agencies. tenance, then the highway or transportation department's supervisor will run the activity. Incident management oper- ating principles specifically and explicitly cover situations 4.4.5 Security, Terrorism, and Homeland Defense where even though a particular agency may hold jurisdiction, none of the responders have yet arrived on the scene. In such The general public's level of awareness regarding terror- cases, it is incumbent upon those actually present on the ism has been greatly heightened by the media and official scene to organize themselves, deal with the problems pre- government notices since the events of September 11, 2001. sented, and agree upon leadership. There is a growing desire Because public safety agencies provide the front-line defense among the response community that responders be certified against domestic terrorism, they have been better informed by an accredited authority before they can fill the higher posi- and more involved in security and homeland defense than tions in an incident's management organization. Such for- any other kind of agency has. However, the transportation mality may eventually extend into the support community, community has also been eager to contribute and to become including transportation. involved and has used whatever formal and informal chan- Fire and law enforcement training academies usually offer nels of communication were available to keep abreast of threat advanced training in multiagency incidents, but not on small assessments, periods of heightened awareness, and current multiagency incidents and not specifically on highway inci- operations. Joint preparatory activities have become com- dents. The National Highway Institute is offering a recently monplace, and joint standard operating procedures are usu- updated course on TIM (8). The National Fire Academy is ally available for implementation when needed. In the few modifying its standardized courses to incorporate some instances since September 11 that special operational anti- material on transportation incidents. The newly revised terrorism working relationships were needed, these relation- national standard training course for incident safety officers ships were formed on an ad hoc basis and appear to have met will include material relating to the management and control the needs of the participants. of traffic in and around a highway incident scene. This Public safety and transportation agencies recognize the material is presented from the standpoint of risk management importance of managing surface transportation in the context and recognizes the danger presented by moving traffic. of a terrorist incident. Moreover, they realize that the same Generally, interagency training is not provided on traffic types of homeland defense information exchanged between incident operations by local agencies. Researchers specifically transportation agencies and public safety agencies can be looked for instances of formal interagency training regarding applied to the less serious (but more common) domains of highway operations and for TIM in particular. No instances everyday crime and traffic law enforcement. More everyday could be identified at the time of the site visits. However, use of each other's information by public safety agencies and standard preparatory and on-the-job training are provided to transportation agencies will both heighten awareness of the field and operations center staff on procedures, policies, and information's value and increase the skills of both communi- equipment related to traffic incidents. ties to use each other's information. Such an improvement In some locations, outside consultants have been brought will serve the public well should another terrorist event occur. in to help foster coordinated operations by conducting work- Some of the agencies interviewed during this project shops to improve joint operations. The workshops have been actively participated in Top Officials (TOPOFF)--a national-
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18 level, multiagency, multijurisdictional, real-time, limited- bomb, detonation. During the exercise, WSDOT provided notice weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) response staff in the State Emergency Operations Center. Most of exercise. TOPOFF was designed to better prepare senior gov- WSDOT's operations during the exercise focused on road- ernment officials to effectively respond to an actual terrorist way closures. The exercise identified gaps and inconsisten- attack involving WMDs. TOPOFF involved more than 100 cies in information that was disseminated to WSDOT by the federal, state, local, and private-sector entities (9). This exer- state and county departments of health. This exercise cise involved a simulated multipoint attack. In Seattle, the included 36 hours of continuous, live, full-scale exercise, exercise simulated a radiological dispersal device, or dirty with a follow-up table-top exercise.