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GUIDE FOR EMERGENCY TRANSPORTATION OPERATIONS MOVING FORWARD--IDEAL STATE OF THE PRACTICE FOR ETO The ideal state for ETO represents a balanced approach to institutional, operational, and technology issues. It is a carefully crafted and monitored program enhanced through a performance-based improvement process. The ETO program is reflected as a major pri- ority for each agency, possibly incorporating elements of the ETO into each agency's mission/vision statement, as well as in interagency agreements containing clear lines of authority and responsibility that are sustainable through administrations and budget cycles. The successful ETO program is heavily dependent on the efficiency and effectiveness of the incident response and performance at the scene, from arrival through clearance and recovery. Effective traffic incident and emergency event response focuses on the safety of travelers and responders, quick clearance time, and minimum traffic disrup- tion. Exceptional performance requires effective communications, coordination, pre- established protocols, cooperation with other responders, and frequent multi-agency plan- ning and training. Appropriate technology, equipment, and supplies are deployed for their important role in reducing the impact of incidents and emergency events by minimizing the time and cost of each phase of emergency response and improving its effectiveness. ETO are continu- ously improved through advanced techniques, such as problem-specific and location- impact-specific prior actions, implying a combination of technology, operational, and institutional effectiveness. This "proactivity" depends on the ability of early warning or sufficient pre-specification of potential emergency events so that their potential impacts can be mitigated by protection, deterrence, or predetermined management measures. Training within and across agencies in the use of these technical tools and techniques, as well as the results obtained in other regions, are important to help maintain and improve the program. Finally, the successful ETO program is acknowledged by the general public, elected officials, and the media as a superior operation and valued for its contribution to mobil- ity, safety, and security. 46