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GUIDE FOR EMERGENCY TRANSPORTATION OPERATIONS (CAD) centers; and the modest coverage of ITS surveillance, detection, and commu- nications systems. The need for interoperable interagency communications is widely acknowledged, but represents an expensive challenge in many regions. More generally, information-sharing protocols for each significantly different emergency type (weather, security, planned event) are not uniformly developed and often involve different units within responder and supporting agencies. State DOTs, because of their interest in ITS technology, are well-positioned to work with and support their public safety agency part- ners regarding advanced technology applications. These efforts are reinforced by Fed- eral Communication Commission (FCC) allocation of frequency to public safety func- tions and the new hardware emerging to supply this need. For example, TMC/CAD dispatch integration benefits may be obvious, but only a few regions are moving in this area. TMC protocols for both rapid and appropriate response and effectively informing the public have been developed in only a few regions. An inte- grated approach to a broader range of hazards also introduces other technology issues. These involve the need for cooperation among the emergency management community and public safety and transportation entities, more shared real-time information, rapid access across public data sources and data types, and a need to develop access to special expertise on an on-call basis. INSTITUTIONS Addressing the Policy Framework for ETO and How the Operations and Technology Issues are Organized into a Program, Resource, and Performance Framework "Institutionalization" of ETO evolving best practices is still in very early stages, and the transportation and public safety entities have different priorities. The objectives, priori- ties, and management style exhibited by the DOTs and public safety agencies are based in law, culture, and resources. The legal and regulatory environment also varies substan- tially by state. Figure 5 illustrates in summary form the key agency objectives in emer- gency transportation response. As indicated, agency objectives may be complementary or diverge; however, the divergence may simply reflect lack of joint strategy to overcome apparent conflicts. For example, there are specific best practice approaches to ensuring safety at the scene while maintaining traffic flow. 15
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GUIDE FOR EMERGENCY TRANSPORTATION OPERATIONS Figure 5. Agency Objectives in Emergency Transportation Response ETO is not treated as a formal, budgeted, managed program within most state DOTs. Rather, ETO is typically conducted as a fragmented, part-time reactive activity at the district level, with responsibilities divided among maintenance, traffic operations units, TMC management, and ITS project staff. Within the public safety community, traffic incidents and emergencies associated specifically with traffic often lack a separate pro- gram identity. As a result, key components (ITS, service patrols, communications) do not compete well for resources, and there is no clear professional cadre or related tech- nical certification devoted to ETO. Formal inter-institutional relationships between state DOTs and public safety agencies are most common at the field level, and DOTs are often perceived as public works agencies rather than aggressive advocates for systems man- agement. Despite the obvious overlap in responsibilities, personnel, infrastructure, and equipment appropriate to ETO, there is only a modest attempt to exploit common needs and resources or to develop common protocols covering both traffic and other emer- gencies among state DOTs and between DOTs and their public safety counterparts. The Appendix presents a more detailed discussion of the state of the practice for each of the three categories of issues. Key strengths and weakness are identified based on inter- views conducted for this project and the Federal Highway Administration's (FHWA's) "Traffic Incident Management Self-Assessment National Executive Summary Report" reported key incident management practices among the top 75 metropolitan areas. 16