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B-1 APPENDIX B AUSTIN, TEXAS, CASE STUDY 1 INTRODUCTION Cooperate in the planning and development of a regional public safety wireless emergency communica- Numerous public safety and transportation agencies in the tions system, Austin metropolitan area have operational responsibilities in Provide appropriate staff to cooperate with staff desig- the context of traffic incident management (TIM). Together, nated by other governmental entities to develop plans these agencies have initiated a number of planning and sys- for a unified public safety communications system and tems development initiatives that focus on enhancing response center, to emergencies and delivery of emergency and transportation Jointly apply for funding from whatever source of funds services. This section describes the institutional framework may be available for cooperative intergovernmental that underpins these efforts, as well as the operational roles and projects (including federal, state, local, or private grants responsibilities of each of the involved agencies. funding), and The following were the primary contacts for the site sum- Provide necessary information to management and sup- marized in this report. port policy decisions needed to develop such systems. Brian D. Burk, P.E. In addition, the need to integrate transportation and public 7901 N. IH 35 data and communications was outlined in the IH-35 Corridor Austin, Texas 78753 Plan that was prepared in February of 1998. 512.832.7014 512.832.7246 1.1.2 Joint Development and Procurement of Technology David Stone, Coordinating Committee Public Safety IT Project Manager (retired) Pursuant to laying the groundwork through joint planning City of Austin, Texas activities, TxDOT and the city of Austin are actively engaged 500 E. Whitestone Blvd # 3834 in the development of technological systems to support TIM Cedar Park, Texas 78630 functions. Central to these efforts is the development of the 512-413-2828 Combined Transportation, Emergency, and Communications 512-857-0867 Center (CTECC). The CTECC will house a collection of sys- tems referred to as 911 RDMT, including 911 call handling, radio trunking, computer-aided dispatch, mobile data termi- nals, automatic vehicle location, and transportation and tran- sit services. The goal of CTECC is to integrate public safety, 1.1 Institutional Framework ITS management, and public service operations and systems. It is anticipated that the CTECC will be operational in Octo- 1.1.1 Joint Planning Activities ber 2003. Efforts to enhance coordination of incident management Another significant effort related to this initiative that will functions in the Austin metropolitan area through the coop- foster information sharing between transportation and public erative development of technology has its origins in the intel- safety agencies is the integration of the city of Austin's CAD ligent transportation systems (ITS) early deployment plan system with TxDOT's advanced traffic management system (EDP) that was jointly sponsored by FHWA, TxDOT, and (ATMS). This system will provide the technological basis to the City of Austin Public Works. The EDP included both manage multimodal and multiagency emergencies ranging short-term and long-term objectives for developing and imple- from automobile crashes to major disasters. menting ITS technologies throughout the metropolitan Austin area, including initiatives to enhance incident management 1.2 Roles and Responsibilities and emergency operations. A significant outcome of the EDP was a memorandum-of-understanding (MOU) that was exe- 1.2.1 TxDOT cuted by TxDOT and the City of Austin Public Works. Doc- umented in the MOU were policy statements that outlined TxDOT is committed to supporting a number of TIM func- the agencies' commitment to tions in Austin, from within the operations center and at the

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B-2 incident scene. TxDOT has responded to the need to man- 1.2.2 City of Austin Police Department age traffic both during the incident and during normal oper- ations through the ATMS that was developed internally and In the state of Texas, local police agencies are responsible deployed in other TxDOT regions throughout the state. The for responding to traffic incidents that occur on the freeway ATMS is intended to provide automation and decision sup- system within the city limits. In the context of TIM, Austin port for traffic management center (TMC) operations. The PD operational responsibilities include controlling traffic, ATMS includes three operational components that provide conducting crash investigations, providing assistance with the functionality to support TIM: containment of hazardous materials spills, and supporting traffic management activities during special events. Incident Detection--Loop detectors that continuously monitored traffic flow are embedded in the pavement 1.2.3 City of Austin Fire Department throughout the freeway network. When the flow reaches a predetermined threshold set by the system administra- The Austin Fire Department (Austin FD) plays a critical tor, the ATMS notifies the operator of a potential incident. role in supporting TIM functions, including Other detection methods that were used by the operator include calls from service patrol operators in the field, Fire suppression; telephone calls from the police, or (on rare occasions) Extraction and rescue of crash victims from the vehicle; monitors showing closed-circuit television (CCTV). Containment and assistance with clean-up of hazardous Incident Assessment--After detecting an incident, the materials spills, including chemical spills, gas leaks, and operator in the TMC assesses the situation to ascertain other situations involving hazardous materials; and the most appropriate action to take. The assessment and First response to all advanced life support emergencies reporting function of TxDOT's ATMS affords opera- within the city of Austin. tors in the TMC two options for monitoring roadway conditions: (1) with a graphical display of the level of service for any segment on the roadway that is equipped 1.2.4 Austin-Travis County Emergency Medical with detectors and (2) with CCTVs. Services (EMS) Traffic Management--Three types of devices are used The Austin-Travis County EMS Department is the primary in the Austin metropolitan area to support traffic man- provider for medical rescue within the city of Austin and agement functions, lane control signals (LCSs), dynamic Travis County. To support TIM functions, the department message signs (DMSs) and ramp metering stations. Each operates 21 paramedic ambulances, 5 paramedic rescue ambu- of the components is controlled through the ATMS. lances, 1 tactical paramedic rescue ambulance, 1 shock/trauma air rescue helicopter (STARFlight) and four command units To support incident management operations at the scene, that are equipped with advanced life support (ALS). TxDOT also operates two courtesy patrols during the week- days between 6 a.m. and 10 p.m. It is important to note that ser- vice patrols only operate on I-35 during peak periods. Typical 2 INFORMATION-SHARING METHODS duties of the service patrol operators include removing debris, Several public safety and transportation agencies are in the assisting motorists with broken down vehicles, assisting process of upgrading, replacing, and integrating communi- Austin Police Department (Austin PD) with traffic manage- cations and data systems. Descried below are the current ment, and helping to move and operate TxDOT equipment. voice, data, and multimedia information-sharing methods, as Additionally, TxDOT also supports TIM functions through well as methods that will be operational with the completion the dissemination of traveler information. A highway advi- of the new CTECC, which is scheduled for October 2003. sory radio (HAR) system is used to alert travelers of delays and closures. This system includes three HAR stations, which also support TxDOT's Amber Alert system. Messages on the 2.1 Face-to-Face HAR system are updated daily except during emergencies, when updates are dictated by the prevailing circumstances. When completed, co-location in the new CTECC will pro- TxDOT also shares video feeds with the media from CCTVs vide responders from the various agencies with the opportu- implemented throughout the network of freeway network in nity to communicate face-to-face while cooperatively man- Austin. Cameras are selected by the media with TxDOT assis- aging incidents. Responders believe that it will be necessary tance. In exchange for video feeds, television stations pro- to establish operational procedures for interagency commu- vide in-kind services such as weather data and public service nications (face-to-face and remote voice) to efficiently man- announcements (PSAs) for TxDOT. age incidents.

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B-3 2.2 Remote Voice longitude coordinates and the nature of the incident that are entered into the CAD system. To coordinate response activities, the operator in the In addition, the integration of the CAD system and ATMS TxDOT operations center currently must rely on the telephone will provide TxDOT with the ability to archive incident data. to communicate with the Austin PD dispatcher. This require- Data generated through the CAD system will be filtered prior ment has not proven to be consistently effective during emer- to being communicated to TxDOT to ensure that sensitive gency operations because the dispatcher many times is unable data are kept internal to the police department. to communicate with TxDOT operations staff because of the From the perspective of the city of Austin, this integration increased workload that the emergency presents. project will serve as a conduit to TxDOT-generated data, To support center-to-vehicle communications, TxDOT ser- including road closure and real-time speed data that will sup- vice patrols are equipped with Austin PD radios. This enables port real-time dynamic routing of responders. In addition, the Austin PD communications officer in the dispatch center this project will provide the city of Austin with incident infor- with the ability to directly dispatch the service patrol. In addi- mation that has not been available before. tion, having the service patrols equipped with the Austin PD In the future, TxDOT would like to implement police mobile radio unit enables the service patrol operator to com- mobile data terminals (MDTs) in the service patrol vehicles municate with Austin PD patrol officers in the field. However, to help prevent service patrol operators from inadvertently most of the communications in the field are conducted face-to- providing service to a stolen vehicle or from placing the oper- face at the incident scene. Service patrol operators and TxDOT ator in any other potentially dangerous situation. Efforts are also underway to integrate the city of Austin's communications officers in the center are also equipped with signal system, including video, with TxDOT ATMS. Addi- scanners that allow them to monitor radio traffic and pro- tional ITS integration projects are underway to integrate actively respond to incidents. TxDOT ATMS with adjacent jurisdictional CAD systems of Round Rock and Williamson County. 2.3 Text Transfer 2.4 Other Media and Advanced Methods To support the exchange of incident-related data, TxDOT and the city of Austin have initiated efforts to integrate a Completion of the new CTECC will enable Austin PD dis- CAD system with TxDOT's ATMS. When implemented, the patchers to view monitors showing CCTV images. This will CAD-ATMS interface will provide TxDOT with additional help dispatchers to initiate the most appropriate response. incident information from the Austin/Travis County CAD Dispatchers will have control of the cameras when TxDOT system. This interface will help supplement the ATMS where personnel are not present. These communications will be surveillance functions have yet to be implemented. At a addressed in joint operational procedures that still need to be minimum, the interface will include an address or latitude/ refined further.