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GUIDE FOR EMERGENCY TRANSPORTATION OPERATIONS but are not yet effectively used from either timeliness or information perspectives. Amber Alerts have brought a large increase in public understanding of the capabilities of dynamic signs and have focused attention on how to make better use of these devices. An integrated approach to a broader range of hazards also introduces other technology issues. These involve the need for cooperation among the emergency management com- munity and public safety and transportation entities, more shared real-time information, and a need to develop access to special expertise on an on-call basis. INSTITUTIONS--STATE OF THE PRACTICE The FHWA "Traffic Incident Management Self-Assessment National Report" inter- views conducted in the development of this guide and the reference materials in the resources guide (NCHRP Web Document 73) indicate that "institutionalization" of ETO best practices is still in very early stages and that transportation and public safety enti- ties have different priorities. Public Safety Agencies Primary authority and commitment to both TIM and roadway-related emergency oper- ations lie with public safety agencies. By virtue of patrol responsibilities, traffic officers or highway patrol vehicles are likely to be the first on the scene in many other types of incidents in response to police dispatching. Even for major emergencies (such as hurri- canes) for which response is coordinated by state and local EMAs, either police or fire services have field command. However, who has command varies around the country by local law and tradition. State police may have state-level command structure, whereas fire services are often designated as the emergency incident command agency by local government. Overall, there is an enormous dedication to public safety (especially responder safety and property preservation) and secondarily to public convenience. Most law enforcement and fire and rescue services treat traffic incidents within a widely accepted framework of stan- dard all-hazard/all-incident procedure that is applied on an ad hoc, informal basis. EMAs State and local EMAs are in the key coordinating position under state law for major emergencies. They are responsible for planning and coordinating the key activities within the standard emergency management phases--preparation, response, and recovery. In each phase, state and local emergency responders each have designated ESF roles that are specified in the EMA's plan. The ESF response roles are defined at a high level and coordination procedures are defined, but the field activities are left to normal incident command. The DOT's roles are typically detailed in DOT emergency operations plans. In many state and regional Emergency Management Plans, the state DOT roles are focused principally on supplying equipment that may be useful in recovery, traffic management device supply, conditions assessment, repairing infrastructure, and coordination with law enforcement. State DOTs State DOTs exhibit a range of approaches to traffic incidents and highway-related emer- gencies. At the department policy level, there is a growing trend for DOTs to be proactive 53