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5 operational context implies that all personnel understand the ner that encompasses any facility containing information sys- importance of the information, that the information is usable, tems that are used to manage traffic flow, including trans- and that it can usefully affect decisions. Operational factors portation operations centers (TOCs) that also manage field that can set this context include cross-agency training and resources, or other communications centers that also pro- other training and joint operations frameworks, such as inci- vide similar services. Also, the researchers regarded linked dent response teams and general IMSs. transportation management and public safety organizations Following the events of September 11, 2001, these inter- to be worthy of initial consideration for a site visit and inter- operability factors have gained national attention. There is an view, regardless of whether the organizations were physically expanding range of possibilities for coordinating public safety co-located. and transportation agencies, some of which are identified in An approach was used to gather information about incident this study. There is also strong public and political support, a management programs at the sites that concentrated on using range of information technology options, and new funding face-to-face interviews with participants in an environment mechanisms for improving interoperability. The challenge is designed to maintain the privacy of discussions. Interviews, to engage public safety and transportation professionals and to meetings, and conversations were conducted with participants enable them to implement successful practices for generating at multiple organizational levels, including actual operators at and sharing safety information. This project assesses some of all key agencies and their direct supervisors where practicable. these information-sharing practices and the degree to which Prior to each site visit, researchers contacted the inter- localities have taken advantage of these opportunities. viewees and sought to obtain a packet of background and ori- entation information about the TIM coordination activities. There were varied responses from the sites, ranging from 2.2 RESEARCH APPROACH voluminous documentation to telephone conversations. After A case study approach based on site visits and interviews studying the information received, gaining an appreciation of was used. A list of the candidate sites to visit was compiled the history of interaction between the local transportation and from a literature review and Intelligent Transportation Sys- public safety communities, and understanding the background tems (ITS) Integration Program information. On the ITS Inte- of the project or system in use at the site, researchers visited gration Program list, several projects exemplified cutting-edge the sites and conducted the interviews. As time permitted, efforts to integrate transportation and public safety informa- and as the opportunities presented themselves, researchers tion systems, institutions, and operations. augmented their information gathering with ride-along ses- Using NCHRP guidance, the list also contained locations sions, tours, and demonstrations. with failed or no attempts at such integration. These types of situation were desired to provide a more rounded view of 2.3 WHAT INFORMATION AND METHODS information sharing between transportation and public safety OF SHARING WERE CONSIDERED? organizations. The proposed visit lists were presented to the NCHRP Project 3-63 Panel for review and approval. The The following types of traffic incident information were sites visited are identified in Table 2. considered within the scope of this study: In selecting the list of candidate interview sites, the term "transportation management center (TMC)" as used in the · Detection and Notification Information--Identifies the research problem statement was loosely interpreted in a man- incident (e.g., vehicle crash or other event) and informs TABLE 2 Case study locations and agencies Location Key Transportation Agencies Key Public Safety Agencies New York State DOT; New York State Thruway Albany, NY New York State Police; Albany Police Authority Austin, TX Texas DOT Austin Police Hamilton County Dept. of Communications; Cincinnati, OH Ohio DOT; Kentucky Transportation Cabinet Cincinnati Police; Covington Police Minneapolis, MN Minnesota DOT Minnesota State Patrol Phoenix, AZ Arizona DOT Phoenix Fire Dept. Utah Dept. of Public Safety Highway Patrol Salt Lake City, UT Utah DOT and Communications Bureau San Antonio, TX Texas DOT San Antonio Police Dept. San Diego, CA California DOT California Highway Patrol Seattle, WA Washington State DOT Washington State Patrol
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6 the agencies responsible for dispatching appropriate per- · Face-to-Face--Personal communication where staff sonnel and equipment and for managing traffic. from different agencies share office space (such as joint · Response Information--Provides incident details (e.g., operations centers or mobile command posts). number and type of injuries and precise location) to · Remote Voice--Common options readily available to speed the delivery of the optimal emergency resources to support operations within most transportation and public the scene. Related information includes local traffic con- safety agencies, such as telephone and land mobile radio. ditions and agency resource location. · Electronic Text--Lower-bandwidth interconnection · Site Management Information--Provides status details applications such as facsimile machines, electronic mes- about the incident site and resources to enable on-scene saging, CAD, or record management systems. coordination within and among agencies. This supports · Other Media and Advanced Systems--Technology- emergency responder safety, traffic management, inci- dent stabilization, investigation, and clearance. dependent methods not addressed in the previous cate- gories. This category contains primarily higher-bandwidth For the purpose of this case study, the results are grouped communications options, such as video and other imag- according to categories of traffic incident information-sharing ing systems, and integrated systems, such as advanced methods: traffic management systems.