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4 CHAPTER 2 INTRODUCTION Transportation operations and public safety operations are ment practices. It has been adopted throughout the fire service intertwined in many respects. Public safety providers--law and by EMS because of their close organizational and oper- enforcement, fire and rescue, and emergency medical ser- ational association with the fire service. Law enforcement is vices (EMS)--ensure safe and reliable transportation opera- also beginning to use IMS as well, especially for large or com- tions by helping to prevent crashes and rescuing crash vic- plex incidents. Transportation agencies, in seeking to opera- tims. Conversely, the transportation network enables access tionally integrate their handling of congestion-producing high- to emergency incidents and, increasingly, provides real-time way incidents with public safety, have also embraced IMS information about roadway and traffic conditions. principles and broadened IMS application beyond on-scene Interagency exchange of information is the key to obtaining operations to include traffic management center operations. the most rapid, efficient, and appropriate response to highway TIM is a planned and coordinated process to detect, respond incidents from all agencies. More and more, such informa- to, and remove traffic incidents and restore traffic capacity as tion must be shared across system, organizational, and juris- safely and quickly as possible. It involves the coordinated dictional boundaries. Public safety agencies and transporta- interactions of multiple public agencies and private-sector tion organizations often have information that is valuable to partners (1). TIM may be used for a range of purposes, from each other's operations. For example, a fender bender on the highway to a hurricane evacuation. TIM requires transportation and public safety organizations Better incident detection and notification can engage to work together. Effective TIM depends on rapid and effec- appropriate public safety resources sooner, provide more tive exchange of information among all involved parties, rapid medical care to save lives and to minimize injury including agreement on task definitions, lines of authority, consequences, and reduce transportation infrastructure organizational framework, divisions of responsibility, and disruption; means of resolving conflicts. However, in many regions, key Better road situation information can speed the delivery officials from one agency can rarely talk to their counterparts of emergency (and support) resources to the scene; and in another agency by radio, let alone share detailed and situ- Better incident site status and coordination information ational information. Interoperability--that is, two or more can improve the safety of emergency responders and has- different agencies exchanging information according to pre- ten incident stabilization, investigation, and clearance. scribed methods in order to achieve predictable results--is essential. Many factors influence interoperability. For multi- Some transportation and public safety agencies in loca- agency TIM information sharing, the broad factors are insti- tions across the United States are usefully exchanging infor- tutional, technical, and operational. mation through various methods. As part of this study, inter- At the highest level are the institutional factors that enable views were conducted at a selected group of sites regarding and influence multiagency willingness to share information. the methods of information sharing between transportation Key factors include policies for coordination and cooperation and public safety organizations, the effectiveness of these (e.g., legislative or executive branch mandates), common or methods, and the corresponding features of the interagency coordinated budgets, memoranda of understanding or agree- relationships. ment, co-location of personnel or equipment, and information security or privacy restrictions. Technical factors determine the capability to efficiently share information. Radio, com- 2.1 INCIDENT MANAGEMENT CONTEXT puter, and video systems can greatly strengthen information- FOR TRAFFIC OPERATIONS sharing capabilities. At the same time, however, incompati- bilities among these systems can also impede communication. The incident management system (IMS) was born out of the Spectrum, standards, bandwidth, and equipment reliability chaos of wildland fires in California in the early 1970s. The influence the ability of technologies to support interoperabil- fire service created a nationally standardized command and ity. Although institutional and technical aspects are crucial control paradigm to adopt common operational task responsi- factors, the operational context ultimately determines the bilities, organizational lines of command, and good manage- efficiency and effectiveness of the information sharing. The