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GUIDE FOR EMERGENCY TRANSPORTATION OPERATIONS · Fostering of an interagency focus on the complete array of incidents and emergencies; · Establishment of a formal program with senior responsibility, organization, and reporting; · Allocation of adequate resources; · Establishment of objectives with related performance measures and account- ability; and · Development of agency policy, laws, regulations, and interagency agreements. Given a decision to move ahead, top-level agreement must be reached among the DOT, law enforcement, fire and rescue, towing and recovery, and state and local emergency response entities on a joint focus for improvement. Cementing this relationship is crucial, and DOTs can serve as conveners to create a positive environment for change. Policy commitment and joint agreements within the responder community can then be converted into a manageable program working simultaneously on joint interagency improvements and the department's own internal approach to achieving a higher level of sustainable activities and commitment to continuous, measurable improvement. This will require development of a strategic business plan, specifying responsibilities, resources, and per- formance targets. THE GUIDE Addressing the ETO challenge will require careful guidance and assignment of roles and responsibilities within and across agencies. The the first five sections of this guide are for all readers. The sections addressing Institutions and Leadership are for policy mak- ers and senior managers to establish the case for increased programmatic attention to ETO. The section addressing Operations and Technology is for program-level managers to develop specific plans and projects based on the evolving institutional framework established by senior managers. The resources guide, which is published as NCHRP Web Document 73, provides reference materials. Two related tools for process improvement are provided: 1. A self-assessment that allows managers to determine current strengths and weaknesses and thereby focus on the relevant part of the guidance material. 2. General strategies and tactics related to five areas of principal weakness described in a subsequent section of the guide. In the material that follows, Driving Forces and State of the Practice describe key chal- lenges to be overcome in three key areas--institutions, operations, and technology. The subsequent Improvement Strategies section serves as the basis for the guide and sets forth areas for change based on current problems. The Guidance Framework is then explained, followed by Self-Assessment and Guidance sections, which are organized around strategies and tactics for improvement. 6
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GUIDE FOR EMERGENCY TRANSPORTATION OPERATIONS It is important to recognize that this guidance material represents a starting point in identifying and consolidating related needs and practices to improve management of transportation-related emergencies. The material included necessarily represents a first cut at this consolidation--a point of departure--focused principally on the mix of inci- dents that impact the upper-level roadway systems (freeways and expressways). The same issues and approaches are substantially applicable on the lower-level components of the roadway network. Furthermore, the material developed in this guide can be used as the basis for further, more detailed guidance appropriate for specific jurisdictions and the mix of emergencies experienced in a given state, region, or jurisdiction (for example, more/less weather emergencies or planned events). 7