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GUIDE FOR EMERGENCY TRANSPORTATION OPERATIONS IMPROVEMENT STRATEGIES AS PART OF AGENCY STRATEGIC PLANNING AND PROGRAMMING The needed changes and improvements must become institutionalized in terms of pol- icy, authorization, program structure, organization, accountability, and resources. The con- tinuous improvement approach implies regular management oversight of and account- ability for ETO activities. These realities imply the establishment of ETO as a formal department program with all the common institutional features of mainstream state DOT activities. The policy rationale and objectives for a DOT-wide ETO program, including inter- agency policy alignment and legislative strategies, must be integrated with overall DOT strategic planning at headquarters as part of the policy and planning processes. Formal- ization of an ETO program with related organizational, reporting, and budgeting issues is also a matter for a department-wide task force as part of the department's program- ming and budgeting activities. Development of operational plans, protocols, and procedures, including performance mea- sures and technology infrastructure, is appropriately at the district level, tailored to each region. However, there is the need for continuous interaction between operational plan- ning and the program-wide funding and organizational structure (institutional) issues pre- sumably handled at the level of DOT headquarters divisions and senior management. ETO will be "staff and training intensive" rather than "capital intensive." There are potential staff modifications to provide 24 7 responsiveness, like that of a public ser- vice entity. There are also capital requirements, many of which are dual use with cur- rent ITS programs. Resources for the program may be an issue but will be modest com- pared with the return on service available and compared with other expenditure options. Figure 6 illustrates the proposed improvement strategies for ETO in relation to con- ventional DOT policies for development and planning. The figure identifies the key agency leaders and/or departments that must address the individual and collective strate- gies to institutionalize ETO within a DOT. 31