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41 CHAPTER FOUR EMERGENCY TRAINING AND EXERCISE PRACTICES ples involve local PW agencies. Information regarding PWs was also obtained from the state DOT case example partici- pants, screening survey, synthesis panel members, and the American Public Works Association. The locations of the case example agencies are shown in the map in Figure 7. Surveys were distributed to all voting members of the AASHTO Special Committee on Transportation Security and Emergency Management, the AASHTO Subcommit- tee on Maintenance, APWA, and the International Munici- pal Signal Association. The survey conducted for this synthesis study was intended to be a screening survey to identify case example agencies. However, as other infor- mation emerged, it was incorporated into the synthesis. There were a total of 48 responses from state DOTs and PW agenciesâfrom 25 state DOTs and 22 PW agencies (one DOT responded twice). The survey questionnaire is presented in Appendix B, and the survey responses are summarized in Appendix C. This chapter provides detailed findings from case examples, the screening survey, state DOTs, and the literature review. In particular, the emergency training implementation challenges of state DOTs and PW agencies are presented, along with solutions and practices identified through this synthesis study. Case example subjects were identified through the screening survey and follow-up interviews and through con- sultation with information sources and industry experts. The interview guide used for the case example interviews is pre- sented in Appendix D, and the list of interviewees and their positions is provided in Appendix E. The details of the case examples can also be found in Appendix E. Supplemental information obtained from ADOT, MoDOT, and WSDOT is presented in Appendices F, G, H, and I. Information for the case examples was gathered through phone and e-mail inter- views with the selected agencies. An objective of the agency selection for the case examples was to provide diversity in terms of state size, population, and location. Two case exam- FIGURE 7 Locations of the case study agencies.
42 The distributions by size of the FTE field personnel for the state DOT respondents and PW respondents are shown in Tables 26 and 27. For each case example state, Table 28 provides a summary of the stateâs demography, as well as characteristics of the state DOT and its facilities. TABLE 26 STATE DOT FIELD PERSONNEL <50 4 250â499 3 500â999 4 1,000â1,999 7 2,000â4,999 6 >5,000 1 Total 25 TABLE 27 PUBLIC WORKS AGENCY FIELD PERSONNEL <50 13 51â99 4 100â249 5 Total 22 California is the most populous state among the case exam- ple participants, with 36.8 million residents, followed by Texas with 24.3 million residents. Vermont is the least populous with only 621,270 residents. States range in size from 1,045 square miles (Rhode Island) to 261,231 square miles (Texas). Texas is the largest state among the case example participants, followed by California and Arizona; the smallest states are Rhode Island and Vermont. Population density ranges from 45.2 persons per square mile in Arizona to 1,003 in Rhode Island. The range for number of full-time employees is between 780 and 22,000. Cal- trans is the largest state DOT in terms of full-time employees; the next largest is TxDOT, which has about half of Caltransâ workforce. However, it is interesting to note that field person- nel make up only about 20 percent of the Caltrans workforce, compared with almost 50 percent of TxDOTâs workforce. In terms of the number of districts, TxDOT takes the lead with 25 district offices; the state is further subdivided into 246 mainte- nance sections. TDOT has 12 super districts, which are subdi- vided into 22 districts. In terms of highway/roadway mileage and bridges, the state DOTs with the most miles and bridges are TxDOT and Caltrans. TxDOT is responsible for the most cen- terline milesâalmost 80,000âand more than 50,000 bridges. Meanwhile, Caltrans is responsible for 50,000 miles and more than 12,000 bridges. The Rhode Island DOT has the lowest number of centerline miles and the lowest number of bridges. TABLE 28 CHARACTERISTICS OF PARTICIPATING CASE STUDY STATE DOTs
43 IMPLEMENTATION CHALLENGES The case example participants viewed emergency training and exercises as an important aspect of preparedness. In the screening survey, only 3 of the 25 state DOT respon- dents reported that they do not provide emergency training or exercises for their M&O field personnel. This observa- tion coincides with the preliminary results obtained by the NCHRP 20-59(43) project team (J. Western, personal com- munication, April 16, 2013). The team found that 18 of 20 state DOT respondents required or encouraged training in emergency preparedness. Of the 22 PW respondents, 12 reported that they do not provide emergency training or exercises for their M&O field personnel. Both state DOTs and PWs face a number of implementation challenges, many of them resulting from resource constraints. These challenges are discussed in this section. Practical solutions that have been identified and are being used by the agencies are presented later in this chapter. Implementation challenges identified by the case example participants included the following: â¢ Scheduling difficulties â¢ Limited budgets â¢ Lack of qualified training staff â¢ Personnel turnover â¢ Distance issues â¢ Senior management issues. Additional issues noted by the state DOT and PW respon- dents included the following: â¢ Inadequate facilities and other resources (e.g., PCs, Internet access) â¢ Insufficient information about available training â¢ Infrequent need for training. These challenges were also mentioned by the screening survey respondents. Additional challenges for state DOTs and PWs included limited training content, including lack of refresher training; ESF and ICS roles; exercises designed for field personnel; training for field support personnel such as procurement, construction, and HR; and training on coordination among state DOTs, PWs, law enforcement, fire departments, and other emergency response providers. Lack of Qualified Training Staff and Personnel Turnover Some state DOTs noted that their field personnel and super- visors take on training responsibilities, even though the agencies do not have formal training positions. Even if these personnel are qualified to conduct the training, it can take a toll on them because they must also fulfill their normal duties. Personnel turnover creates shortages in training staff and at the same time creates an increased need for training. Case example respondents noted the following imple- mentation challenges: â¢ Personnel frequently perform training duties outside of their normal positions. â¢ Training gaps occur as a result of personnel and leader- ship turnover. â¢ Experiences and lessons learned are lost when employ- ees leave or retire. â¢ The agency lacks the staff needed to train field person- nel in ICS. Limited Budgets and Scheduling Difficulties State DOTs do not have unlimited budgets for training field personnel. Even if training is provided free of charge, it requires field personnel to be pulled out of their normal work assignments. This can cause delays in their fulfillment of their assignments, may require overtime compensation, or may require other personnel to fill in for them. If field personnel are required to undergo training outside their nor- mal work hours, they will typically need to be compensated for their overtime hours. In terms of implementing training programs, 12 of 16 respondents indicated difficulty in sched- uling or conflict with work priorities as a problem. In terms of incorporating field personnel into emergency exercises, 27 of 32 respondents cited difficulty in scheduling or con- flict with work priorities as a problem. These observations coincide with the preliminary finding from the NCHRP 20-59(43) project that fewer and fewer resources are avail- able for training in general (J. Western, personal communi- cation, April 16, 2013). The 12 PWs that reported difficulty implementing training programs said they did not have a large enough budget to hire a training contractor. Case example respondents also noted these implementa- tion challenges: â¢ A state DOTâs traffic and highway department has been downsized by 20 percent, creating major chal- lenges owing to a lack of time and funding for training. â¢ Another state DOT stated that scheduling new training is difficult because field personnel already have other training requirements. Even if the training itself is free, it requires interrupting their normal duties and use of their paid time. At Caltrans, newly hired M&O field personnel must take the following courses as part of the two-week New Employee Maintenance Orientation (NEMO). Training for emergency operations and hazards awareness is necessarily limited in light of all the other topics that must be covered:
44 â¢ NIMS â¢ Standard First Aid and CPR â¢ Chapter 8 Training â¢ Hearing Protection â¢ Heat Stress â¢ Ladder Safety â¢ Diversity Training â¢ Stormwater Management â¢ Temporary Traffic Control Training â¢ Defensive Driver Training â¢ Sexual Harassment and Violence in Workplace and Employment Assistance Program â¢ HR Overview â¢ First Responder Awareness â¢ Hazard Communication â¢ Caltrans Overview â¢ Career Development â¢ International Union of Operating Engineers â¢ Batteries â¢ Backing Course â¢ Brake Lab â¢ Decs and Dust â¢ Equipment Responsibility â¢ Pre-Ops â¢ Radio Communications â¢ Temporary Traffic Control TrainingâField Activities â¢ Way Traffic Control â¢ Lane Closures â¢ Shoulder Closures â¢ Driving Test â¢ Tires â¢ Trailers and Chain ID â¢ Transmissions â¢ Trucks â¢ Turbos â¢ Substance Abuse. Distance Issues Some of the DOTs in larger states must provide training to a large M&O field workforce located in disparate areas. For example, although California is the third largest state in the United States, Caltrans has a sufficient training budget to enable it to send new hires and existing personnel from its district offices to its train- ing academy in Sacramento. On occasion, academy trainers travel to the district offices to provide safety and other training. In contrast, another DOT in a large state has difficulty covering the great distances required to reach each of its district offices. Resources tend to be concentrated in urban areas, so trainers have to make a special effort to reach out to suburban and rural personnel. This DOT has used the train- the-trainer method to resolve this problem. Another state DOT that lacked sufficient staff qualified to perform the initial ICS training for its field personnel also used the TTT strategy. They found that TTT was cost-effective and did not require them to hire additional personnel. Senior Management Because budgets are limited and scheduling is difficult, provision of training to a large number of employees is a challenging endeavor, even if it is deemed necessary by mid- level managers or district staff. It is important to obtain the support of senior management and their active promotion of emergency training. In cases where senior management mandated all-hazards emergency training, the training was implemented expeditiously and successfully. For example, VTrans issued a senior-level mandate for all personnel, including field personnel, to undergo ICS training after Hurricane Irene in 2011. All field personnel were required to take both the instructor-led ICS 100 introductory course provided by the Vermont State Police Academy and the FEMA IS-100 online course. Supervisors of field personnel were required to take additional courses, including IS-200 (ICS for Single Resources), ICS-300 (Intermediate ICS), and ICS-400 (Advanced ICS), depending on their job responsibilities. At the Iowa DOT, the director mandated implementation of ICS training. TTT courses trained instructors at each district office; they in turn trained all their district field personnel. One municipal PW agency indicated that it is making an effort to provide NIMS and ICS training to its field per- sonnel; however, implementation and delivery have been difficult because of insufficient support from senior manage- ment. The agency representative noted that other PW agen- cies share this problem. TRAINING NEEDS The screening survey results and case example partici- pants indicated that state DOTs and PWs had certain train- ing needs that would benefit from increased attention and resources. Table 29 shows the training needs of participating state DOTs and local PWs. All participants shared the need to obtain funding and train new staff. Comments on new staff training by both state DOTs and PWs implied that high levels of staff turnover could be problematic. State DOTs also noted issues with refresher training and involvement of field personnel in FSEs. Refresher Training Refresher training for those who have already taken the NIMS/ICS courses at least once is not available through FEMA EMI or other sources. APWA has been consider- ing the development of refresher training by combining key content from related courses (e.g., ICS-100 and IS-700) and
45 offering the training in a shortened, more concise format than the original courses (D. Bergner, personal communi- cation, May 3, 2013). Tennessee DOT does require its field personnel to take a 4-hour refresher NIMS and ICS course every 5 years. The refresher training is delivered by the TDOT Emergency Service Coordinator. TABLE 29 TRAINING NEEDS State DOTs Local Public Works â¢ Obtaining funding â¢ Training new staff â¢ Emergency operations plan training â¢ ESF#1 and ICS roles, responsibilities training â¢ Training for M&O field support personnelâprocurement, HR, budgeting, construction â¢ Response to hazardous conditions and HAZMAT training â¢ Training on coordination among the DOT, police and fire â¢ Refresher courses â¢ Lack of PCs in the field â¢ Full-scale exercises designed for field personnel â¢ Obtaining funding â¢ Addressing personnel shortages â¢ Training new staff â¢ Search-and-rescue training â¢ Dealing with trauma â¢ Preparedness for out-of-area deployment â¢ Preparedness for disasters/ emergencies when they are infrequent Linking Implementation Issues to Solutions Table 30 links implementation issues to possible solutions. The solutions were identified through the case examples, screening surveys, follow-up phone calls, and interviews with information sources. TRAINING SOLUTIONS DOTs identified training delivery solutions in the both the case examples and the screening survey. (These solutions were described in more detail in chapter three.) Most of them are not standalone solutions; they can be offered in various combinations as deemed appropriate by the state DOT or PW. Blended training solutions are viewed favorably by many agencies. Field Crew Meetings Field crew meetings provide good opportunities for train- ing because they are regularly scheduled and held at times and locations convenient to field personnel. Screening sur- vey results indicated that field crew meetings are a preferred training method used by 17 of the 25 responding DOTs. This is higher than the preliminary result obtained by the NCHRP 20-59(43) project team; their result indicated that 5 of 20 responding DOTs incorporate training into exist- ing internal meetings (J. Western, personal communication, April 16, 2013). TABLE 30 EMERGENCY TRAINING AND EXERCISE IMPLEMENTATION ISSUES AND POSSIBLE SOLUTIONS Implementation Issues Solutions â¢ Lack of training staff â¢ Limited budget â¢ Employee turnover â¢ Field crew meetings â¢ Joint training â¢ Just-in-time training â¢ Interjurisdictional/interagency training and exercises â¢ Computer-based training without live instructors â¢ Prepackaged CDs and DVDs â¢ Train-the-trainer â¢ Planned events, incidents, and exercises â¢ Online training with live instructors â¢ Computer simulations â¢ Scheduling difficulties â¢ Field crew meetings â¢ Joint training â¢ Just-in-time training â¢ Computer-based training without live instructors â¢ Prepackaged CDs and DVDs â¢ Planned events, incidents â¢ Limited training content â¢ Insufficient information about available training â¢ FEMA EMI, ISP, NIMS/ICS/ NRF training â¢ Synthesis toolkit â¢ Universities, LTAP/TTAP centers â¢ Prepackaged CD/DVDs â¢ Infrequent need for training â¢ Just-in-time training â¢ Computer-based training without live instructors â¢ Prepackaged CDs and DVDs â¢ Lack of Internet access â¢ Lack of PCs â¢ Field crew meetings â¢ Joint training â¢ Prepackaged CD/DVDs â¢ Train-the-trainer â¢ Classroom training â¢ Planned events, incidents â¢ Distance issues â¢ Field crew meetings â¢ Computer-based training without live instructors â¢ Prepackaged CDs and DVDs â¢ Train-the-trainer â¢ Classroom training using VTC/VoIP/CCTV â¢ Planned events, incidents At WSDOT, crew meetings focusing on field personnel skills and safety are held on a regular basis. TDOT also uses field crew meetings as a training delivery method. At Cal- trans, tailgate meetings are held every 10 days at every main-
46 tenance yard. These meetings are used to share information and to train field personnel on new procedures, technologies, equipment, and safety issues. Missouri DOT uses field crew meetings to train field personnel on specific tasks. At Plant City, Florida, weekly safety meetings are held during lunch; they combine training, discussion, and infor- mation sharing. Each of Plant Cityâs divisions has up to nine employees, and they all hold weekly safety meetings. Topics covered include hazards awareness and emergency opera- tions. When training is the focus of the meeting, a superin- tendent prepares the training content and trains personnel. For discussions, a worker may prepare content and lead a discussion. Also, an incident may become the focal point for a discussion. Just-in-Time Training Just-in-time training is used to train personnel and PWs when the need arises. One agency that used JITT to train personnel in ICS after a large disaster realized that the response would have been better had their personnel already been trained in ICS. Seven of the 25 state DOT screening survey respon- dents indicated that they use JITT. Online training that is available on demandâsuch as the FEMA ISP as well as videos on emergency operations and hazard awareness on YouTube or other file-sharing sitesâcan be used for JITT. At the Texas DOT, information on FHWA and FEMA reimbursement procedures is disseminated at meetings of district engineers and key maintenance staff. JITT in reim- bursement procedures is provided to local counties once a disaster strikes. TxDOT also provides JITT to local govern- ments on FHWA Emergency Relief Program reimbursement eligibility. This training was provided to the county of Bas- trop immediately following a major wildland fire in 2011. The Missouri DOT has used JITT in the past and is developing a new training program incorporating additional JITT. The new training will instruct field personnel on their responsibilities and job duties as they expand. The Rhode Island DOT considers self-paced online train- ing (for example, FEMA ISP) to be a form of JITT because it is always available and can be delivered when it is needed. At the Tennessee DOT, the JITT method is used to train field personnel on specific skills or knowledge required for exercises immediately before an exercise. One state DOT, however, discovered that providing JITT on ICS during a disaster is not an effective way to pro- vide this training to its field personnel. The DOT has since required its M&O field personnel to take both the instructor- led ICS 100 course offered by the state police academy and the FEMA IS-100 course online at its training facility. Interjurisdictional and Interagency Training and Exercises For larger and more complex disasters, emergencies and planned events, effective response requires good coordi- nation among stakeholders in multiple jurisdictions. These include transportation agencies (state DOTs, local DOTs, transit agencies, toll authority), PWs, public safety agen- cies, NGOs, and the private sector. Hence, it is important for state DOTs and PWs to participate in interjurisdictional and interagency training and exercises. These training and exer- cise opportunities are also a way for state DOTs and PWs to leverage scarce resources. State EMAs typically hold interjurisdictional and inter- agency exercises, develop after-action reports and hot washes based on the exercises, and may also identify lessons learned from disasters and planned events. In addition, state EMAs usually offer comprehensive emergency training pro- grams and host statewide or regional interagency exercises. State EMAs receive federal funds to deliver a wide range of training and exercises, so these programs are often offered at nominal or no cost to the participating agencies. For example the Arizona Division of Emergency Man- agement (ADEM) Training and Exercise Office offers a wide variety of courses in five major areas: emergency man- agement, hazardous materials, multihazard emergency plan- ning for schools, Community Emergency Response Team, and weapons of mass destruction/homeland security. Within each of these areas are a wide range of courses that cover emergency planning, mitigation, awareness, operations, incident command, and domestic preparedness. ADEM also offers training to ADOT and other agencies to help them prepare to respond to an unlikely accident at the Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station. State and local police, fire, and safety departments are also excellent sources of interjurisdictional and interagency training. For example, in Texas, local fire departments and police departments routinely host ICS-300 (Intermediate ICS) and ICS-400 (Advanced ICS) courses. In Arizona, the Ari- zona Department of Public Safety is among several entities (including ADOT and the Arizona Division of Emergency Management) that coordinate training and exercises. In Ten- nessee, TDOT has an arrangement with the Tennessee Emer- gency Management Agency (TEMA) to âexchangeâ training: training delivered by TEMA is complimentary to TDOT per- sonnel and training delivered by TDOT is complimentary to TEMA personnel. In addition, interdisciplinary training with the Civil Air Patrol is organized at least once a year. SHRP 2 has developed the National Traffic Incident Man- agement Responder Training course. It is a multidisciplinary training course on TIM that may lend itself to interjurisdic- tional and interagency training and exercises.
47 State DOTs identified other agencies and stakeholders with which they coordinate, including county emergency manag- ers; the state departments of corrections, energy, health, and public safety; state forestry agencies; and water resources. Joint Training Joint training, for the purposes of this synthesis, is differ- ent from interjurisdictional and interagency training in that it focuses on combining training topics. Because scheduling training for field personnel is a major issue for state DOTs and PWs, joint training is used by some agencies to make the deliv- ery of training more efficient and possibly more effective as well. While some joint training may include participants from other jurisdictions or agencies, joint training that does not involve other agencies can also generate delivery efficiencies. The Arizona DOTâs TIM training started in 2013 and promotes a shared understanding of TIM requirements. The training includes a strong ICS element, including a section devoted entirely to incident command. The training is con- ducted by the Arizona Department of Public Safety using the train-the-trainer version of the SHRP 2 National TIM Responder Training course. SHRP 2âs 2-day TTT course facilitates widespread use of the multidisciplinary training; the training was shortened to a 4-hour format by AZDPS. The training is being delivered to state DOT personnel and federal, state, county, and local emergency response provid- ers throughout Arizona, and to private companies such as tow truck operators and contractors. The Texas DOTâs wildland fire training for field personnel includes both emergency response and safety training. TxDOT field personnel are responsible for traffic control and incident response, providing water to firefighters and fuel to volunteer fire departments, debris removal, and repairs to their own facilities. For their personal safety, TxDOT field personnel also need to know how to use personal protective equipment. Plant City, Floridaâs, weekly safety meetings include haz- ards awareness and emergency operations. These meetings combine training, discussions, and information sharing, and are an example of joint training. Asynchronous Training Computer-Based Training Without Live Instructors Computer-based training without live instructors can be offered on an on-demand basis and does not need to be sched- uled. Free training is available through the FEMA Emer- gency Management Institute Independent Study Program and through YouTube, which can be accessed on the Internet. Fourteen of the 25 state DOTs that responded to the screen- ing survey noted that they used online or PC-based training. Among the screening survey respondents, responses were rel- atively evenly distributed among FEMAâs Independent Study Program, the ICS Training and Resource Center (FEMA), the NIMS Training Program and Resource Center (FEMA), the NRF Resource Center (FEMA), the National Highway Insti- tute (FHWA), the National Transit Institute (FTA), LTAP/ TTAP centers, and university/college. YouTube users may have uploaded educational videos; for example, by searching for ICS training, it is possible to find numerous emergency response training videos on the topic. Prepackaged CDs and DVDs CDs and DVDs with videos, PowerPoint presentations, train- ing manuals, and other training tools are relatively inexpen- sive and can usually be adapted to the needs of state DOTs and PWs. They are also useful in locations where Internet access is difficult or unavailable. The Rhode Island DOTâs Safety Office has recently acquired and distributed a CD on safety training created by the American Road and Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA), OSHA, and the U.S. Department of Labor. ARTBA offers training CD-ROMs developed with the National Safety Council, designed for roadway construc- tion workers and focused on the hazards and situations they face on a daily basis. The CD-ROM training package meets OSHAâs requirements for 10-hour accreditation. It includes a detailed instructor manual with notes and interactive student activities; photos, video clips, diagrams, and text in Power- Point format; and one student guide. The cost of the package is $395. J. J. Keller & Associates has a CD-ROM training package on OSHAâs Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response emergency response for hazmat operations. The package contains four courses and costs $1,595. BLRÂ® (Business & Legal Resources, http://store.blr.com/ index.php) helps U.S. businesses comply with state and fed- eral training requirements in safety, environmental, HR, and related topics. It offers training for both supervisors and employees. Train-the-Trainer TTT is especially useful to train large numbers of personnel in a relatively short period. Ten of the 25 state DOT respon- dents in the screening survey use TTT. In the first rollout of its NIMS/ICS training, the Arizona DOT trained 10 instructors to teach Introduction to ICS and Introduction to NIMS to district personnel in a classroom setting. Both are now available in the FEMA ISP catalog as self-paced online training, as IS-100 (Introduction to ICS) and IS-700 (Introduction to NIMS). Online versions of
48 these courses have made the training accessible to ADOT personnel. ADOT has nine district offices with more than 4,600 employees; it would have been challenging to sched- ule and pay for all the employees to attend the courses at a single location. The Iowa DOT also used TTT for the IS-100 and IS-200 (ICS for Single Resources) courses. The courses were pro- vided to district office and DMV enforcement trainers, who then trained more than 1,600 personnel over the course of a year. Trainers and field personnel trainees attained a high level of interaction. A variety of scenarios were developed, and breakout teams were established in each class to respond to each of the scenarios. The Tennessee DOT relies heavily on TTT to meet its emergency training needs. The emergency services coordi- nator at the main office holds training sessions for trainers at each of TDOTâs four regions. The coordinator identifies and schedules adjunct instructors to deliver TTT sessions for specific topics when necessary, and TTT is used to deliver IS-100, IS-200, ICS-700, IS-800, radio communications, and traffic incident management training. One state DOT noted that it has had limited success with TTT because its field staff do not have sufficient time to deliver complex and time-consuming courses such as Inter- mediate ICS (ICS-300) or Advanced ICS (ICS-400). How- ever, this DOT has used the method for simple training (e.g., training on two-way radios) and task-based training. SHRP 2âs National Traffic Incident Management Responder Training includes a multidisciplinary train- ing course on TIM and a TTT course. The objective of the TTT program is to train a set of trainers in a region or state according to common practices and standards. TTT train- ing includes interactive seminars, case example analysis, role playing, and field practicums (supervised practical applications of training content) that focus on the safety of responders and drivers, quick clearance, and effective communications. The TSA First Observerâ¢ program offered a 110- to 140-minute TTT course that was taken by many highway field personnel. They were trained to observe, assess, and report suspicious activities on roadways and highways, including activities surrounding critical infrastructure, and to identify and report suspicious individuals, vehicles, packages, and objects. First Observer modules have been unavailable online from the expiration of the grant fund- ing at the end of 2012 through November 2014. The mod- ules are again available online. The online program will remain functional while TSA develops a fully revised First Observer program that will be introduced in the near future (TSA First Observer project manager, personal communica- tion, June 2, 2014). Planned Events, Incidents, and Exercises Planned events, incidents, and exercises provide an excellent opportunity for field personnel to practice what they have learned. Minor incidents such as traffic accidents occur fre- quently and can provide opportunities for field personnel to practice NIMS/ICS and emergency response. After-action reviews and hot washes from planned and actual events and exercises can provide useful training material and scenarios for the development of future exercises. The Missouri DOT has several major incidents a year and views them as the best opportunities for field personnel to practice what they have learned in their training. In fact, MoDOT uses the number of exercises in which their person- nel have participated in a performance metric. The Washington DOT also uses lessons learned from incidents as the basis for exercise development and exer- cises as the basis for training development. For instance, the 50-vehicle pileup on Snoqualmie Pass that occurred on February 28, 2007, was used as the basis for the creation of a tabletop exercise. WSDOT field personnel participated in the exercise, which was held in May 2007. Computer Simulations Use of computer simulations and virtual training and exer- cises go beyond online training. They typically immerse participants in realistic environments created through the computer and enable participants to interact in real time with each other. While computer simulations and virtual exercises have not traditionally been used to deliver training to field per- sonnel, there have been advancements in virtual technolo- gies, and virtual training and exercise opportunities are now becoming available. Adoption of this technology is not yet common, for reasons unique to each agency. For example, one state DOT considered the development of interactive computerized emergency training and exercises but ulti- mately found them to be cost-prohibitive. However, other state DOTs are considering the use of virtual training and exercise tools at their agencies. 3-D Virtual Incident Management Training for First Responders The I-95 Corridor Coalitionâs three-dimensional, multi- player computer gaming simulation technology (www. i95vim.com) complies with federal incident management program goals and teachings and provides scenario-based, interactive, and real-time incident management train- ing (Virtual Incident Management Training, I-95 Corri- dor Coalition n.d.). The technology can also assist in the testing, validation, and dissemination of best practices.
49 Because responders are exposed to peers from different agencies and can discuss issues and solutions with them, the expectation is that their real-world performance will be enhanced. The June 2012 virtual training had 190 attendees across 14 sessions in the following locales: Hanover, Maryland; Hawthorne, New York; Atlanta, Georgia; Newark, New Jersey; Hamilton, New Jersey; Middletown, Connecticut; and Cheetowaga, New York (â3-D Virtual Incident Man- agement Training for First Responders: Attendee Snapshot, June 2012,â I-95 Corridor Coalition 2012). Many of the par- ticipants were state DOT personnel involved in emergency highway operations. The breakdown of attendees demon- strates the multijurisdictional nature of the training: â¢ Transportation agencies: 46.3% â¢ Police: 17.4% â¢ Fire: 14.2% â¢ EMSs: 5.3% â¢ Towing companies: 8.9% â¢ Cities/metropolitan planning organizations: 6.8% â¢ FHWA: 1.1%. The evaluations provided by the participants were very positive: â¢ 99% of attendees were âvery satisfiedâ or âsatisfiedâ with the instructorâs knowledge and encouragement of questions and discussion. â¢ 96% of attendees were âvery satisfiedâ or âsatisfiedâ with the 3-D virtual world as a useful training environment. â¢ 96% of attendees were âvery satisfiedâ or âsatisfiedâ with the overall course. (â3-D Virtual Incident Management Training for First Responders: Attendee Snapshot, June 2012,â I-95 Corridor Coalition 2012) The delivery model for the Virtual Incident Management Training has changed from a multistation delivery to instal- lation in computer facilities at member agencies so that each agency can deliver the training. The software is free for any agency in the 16 I-95 Corridor Coalition states from Maine to Florida. Because of the licensing agreement, the software is not available to a noncoalition states (T. Martin, personal communication, July 3, 2013). Screenshots from the training are shown in Figures 8 and 9. The I-95 Corridor Coalition uses the same platform (www.i95vim.com) to host the Virtual Incident Management Core Competencies Online Training course. This 1-hour vir- tual course is one of the modules from the virtual training. It is online and asynchronous, available on demand to the pub- lic, and requires Internet access. This course covers scene safety and traffic management core competencies, and uses instructional videos followed by quizzes. FIGURE 8 Virtual Incident Management Training Screenshot 1 (Courtesy: I-95 Corridor Coalition). FIGURE 9 Virtual Incident Management Training Screenshot 2 (Courtesy: I-95 Corridor Coalition). ON-line eXercise System ONX is a web-based system that can implement tabletop, functional, and full-scale exercises using the Internet. The online disaster training focuses on communities and disaster professionals. The system was created by the Disaster Resis- tant Communities Group (DRC Group) LLC and assists in the âdevelopment, facilitation and evaluation of table- top, functional, and full-scale exercises that are compliant with Homeland Security Exercise and Evaluation Program (HSEEP) guidelinesâ (www.onxsystem.com, âWelcome to the ONX System,â DRC Group n.d.). Two virtual exercises involving volunteer communities across the United States have been held: Resilient Response for FloodsâA Readi- ness and Response Exercise (March 21, 2013) and Resil- ient Response for HurricanesâA Readiness and Response Exercise (May 23, 2013). These exercises were part of the nationwide 2013 Disaster Preparedness Virtual Exercise series created by the HandsOn Network and Points of Light organizations to increase the disaster preparedness of com- munities (âResilient Response,â DRC Group 2013). Virtual Tabletop Exercise Program FEMAâs Emergency Management Institute (EMI) has developed a series of 12 virtual tabletop exercises (VTTXs)
50 focused on disaster training; they are offered monthly. The VTTX program was launched in September 2012 as an ini- tiative to leverage technology and reach a large training audience. Participants receive a certificate of completion from the EMI. State DOTs and local PW agencies have participated in these exercises. The VTTX is designed for a community-based group of 10 or more representatives from a local emergency management community of prac- tice (T. Wheeler, FEMA EMI, personal communication, April 16, 2013). Transportation Emergency Response Application The Transportation Emergency Response Application (TERA) is a free, web-based exercise system for emer- gency management professionals in the transportation, transit, rail, and airport domains. TERA achieves NRF goals and is compliant with NIMS/ICS and HSEEP. It is a transportation-specific version of the Emergency Man- agement Staff Trainer, an automated, functional exercise simulation system capable of providing on-demand emer- gency response training and exercises for various levels of learning. It immerses participants in realistic emergency scenarios and provides role-specific exercise opportunities for a single person, a team, or multiple agencies working together. It can facilitate communication, coordination, and standard operating procedures. TERA was initially focused on transit scenarios. The scenarios and a proto- type system were developed and field-tested under Tran- sit Cooperative Research Program (TCRP) Project A-36, Command-Level Decision Making for Transit Emergency Managers. The transit scenarios included flood, hurri- cane, earthquake, power outage, hazardous materials, and active shooter. TERA was modified and expanded with supplemental funding from NCHRP to include state DOT roles. The initial expansion started with the flood scenario and included training. Scenarios can be customized to reflect individual agency and geographic characteristics. Emergency management professionals can register to use TERA at www.tera.train-emst.com. Additional informa- tion regarding TERA and the A-36 project can be found in TCRP Web-Only Document 60/NCHRP Web-Only Docu- ment 200, available online at: http://onlinepubs.trb.org/ onlinepubs/tcrp/tcrp_w60.pdf. Classroom Training Classroom training provides personnel with varying degrees of interactive training. Trainees in different loca- tions can be patched into the classroom using technolo- gies such as VTC, VoIP, and CCTV. Classroom courses are delivered in-house through the state EMA, local or state police department or academy, or local or state fire department or academy. Nineteen of the 25 state DOT respondents to the screening survey indicated that they use classroom training. â¢ The Arizona Division of Emergency Management pro- vides emergency management classroom training to ADOT field personnel. ADOT also uses Texas A&M for emergency classroom training. â¢ Caltrans provides classroom training at its Maintenance Training Academy to new and existing maintenance personnel. The training includes SEMS and NIMS/ICS training. â¢ Plant City, Florida, uses the LTAP Center at the University of South Florida and the Public Works Academy for hazards awareness, hazmat, emergency management, and safety training. â¢ Rhode Islandâs state EMA provides, at its facilities, NIMS and ICS training to Rhode Island DOT field personnel. The Rhode Island DOT also partners with the University of Rhode Island Transportation Center to deliver classroom training to its field personnel. â¢ All of TDOTâs field personnel are required to take IS-100 (Introduction to ICS) and IS-700 (Introduction to NIMS). While the courses are generally taken online, if a TDOT region prefers the classroom method, IS-100 and IS-700 can be delivered in that format. Supervisors are required to take IS-200 (ICS for Single Resources) and IS-800 (Introduction to the NRF) delivered in a classroom format. Managers are required to take ICS- 300 (Intermediate ICS) and ICS-400 (Advanced ICS), also delivered through classroom training. The screening survey responses revealed that the state DOTs were using the following instructor-led classroom training resources: â¢ FEMA Center for Domestic Preparedness â¢ FEMA Emergency Management Institute â¢ FHWA National Highway Institute â¢ FTA National Transit Institute â¢ FEMA National Training and Education Division â¢ LTAP/TTAP centers â¢ Universities or colleges. The responses were distributed evenly among these resources. Online Training with Live Instructors Webinars are one example of online training with live instructors. With a computer and Internet access, it can be relatively easy to attend and participate in a webinar or any type of online training. One drawback is that because the instructors are live, the training needs to be scheduled at fixed times and therefore may cause scheduling difficulties for field personnel. Ten of the 25 state DOT respondents indi- cated that they use webinars. Another example of online training with live instruc- tors is BLRÂ® (Business & Legal Resources, http://store.blr.
51 com/index.php), which helps U.S. businesses comply with state and federal training requirements in safety, envi- ronmental, HR, and related topics. It offers training for both supervisors and employees. BLR offers online train- ing courses that include training presentations, notes for instructors, and quizzes in topics such as safety manage- ment procedures, workplace safety, hazard communica- tion, and forklift operator safety. The administration area enables the following: â¢ Generation of e-mail invitations for employee training. â¢ Tracking of training sessions and employee quiz scores. â¢ Secure, permanent record keeping for compliance purposes. ADDITIONAL FINDINGS Peer-to-Peer Training The FHWA Peer-to-Peer (P2P) program provides short- term technical assistance including training and educa- tion on traffic incident management/planned special event (TIM/PSE) planning, procurement, deployment, and oper- ations. Eligible agencies include state DOTs, local DOTs, law enforcement, emergency and public safety organiza- tions, metropolitan planning organizations, towing and recovery groups, turnpike and tollway authorities, motor carrier offices, and transportation management agencies. Knowledgeable peers train and share information on TIM/ PSE practices and experiences, including solutions to coor- dination, communication, response, and traffic manage- ment challenges. Field Training Onsite field training would provide interactive training to field personnel, eliminating the costs and time involved in traveling to another location. This type of training is being developed by the Mineta Transportation Institute (for Cal- trans. The focus of the course is on operationalizing ICS among field personnel and their supervisors. In order to train all field personnel, MTI trainers would train field supervi- sors, who would in turn train field personnel. The course is expected to take 3.5 to 4 hours, and up to 15 percent of the field personnel can take it at the same time. In-House Training Larger state DOTs are more likely to have dedicated in-house trainers. For example, Caltrans has a Maintenance Training Academy near its headquarters in Sacramento that is dedi- cated to the training of personnel. The academy has 9 to 10 full-time trainers and support personnel, and provides new employees with a 2-week training program that incorporates a pre- and posttest to evaluate their learning. Some state DOTs have learning or training centers that contain classrooms and Internet-enabled computers. A 4-hour Homeland Security course required of all TxDOT personnel, including field personnel, is provided through the TxDOT Learning Center. Security awareness programs have been successful in reaching large numbers of frontline transportation and transit employees, and members of the public as well. TSAâs Highway Watch program began in 2003 to recruit and train highway workers to spot unusual activities and report them to a central information sharing and analysis center. In 2009, the program evolved into the First Observer program, described earlier. FTAâs Transit Watch was initiated in 2003 as a national public awareness and outreach campaign. The initial toolkit allowed transit agencies to select the materials most appropri- ate for their communities and adapt them as needed. FTA and DHS enhanced the original toolkit in 2006, adding supplemen- tal information; the enhanced toolkit contains the transit evacu- ation âListen, Look, Leaveâ campaign; the unattended items âBe Alertâ and âIs This Yours?â campaigns; a 5-step strategy for linking Transit Watch and Citizen Corps; and a Spanish language translation of the original Transit Watch campaign. The toolkit is being disseminated as a downloadable CD and is available through the FTA website. These programs show that providing agencies with alternative ways to deliver training can facilitate training implementation (âTransit Watch,â FTA n.d.). Professional Organizations and Certifications Field personnel are often members of professional organi- zations such as APWA, IMSA, ARTBA, and the American Traffic Safety Services Association (ATSSA), which offer certification and training opportunities. AASHTOâs Trans- portation Curriculum Coordination Council (TCCC) offers free online training developed through an identification of competency gaps for transportation personnel. Certifica- tions may also be issued by colleges and universities, and by vendors. These programs can help field personnel advance in their careers and can motivate them to obtain emergency training voluntarily. Although certifications are not the same as professional licenses, which are issued by government agencies, they provide evidence that an individual is quali- fied to perform certain jobs and job functions. Certifications can be particularly useful in verifying the qualifications of contractors, because they do not operate under supervision as agency employees do. Agencies may require workers and contractors to have specific certification or specific assessment-based cer- tificates in various topics related to their duties, based on federal, state, or local requirements or the agencyâs own requirements. Some agencies pay for these certifications and certificates, while others place this burden on the employee or contractor. Typically, professional or personnel certifica-
52 tion programs provide recognition and the use of a credential for a limited period, and require renewal on a regular basis. The renewal process may involve continuing education or other types of learning. While a professional or personnel certification program is independent of any specific classes, courses, or providers, an assessment-based certificate pro- gram requires a person to take a particular course or series of courses and pass an exam based on the knowledge gained. The differences between professional or personnel certifica- tion programs and assessment-based certification programs are described at length in Knapp and Kendzel (2009). American Public Works Association The American Public Works Association (www.apwa. net) includes individuals, agencies, and corporations from local, county, state/province, and federal agencies, and the private sector. APWA expert resources in disaster manage- ment are extensive; association members can log onto the Peer Resource Directory to consult this network of disaster management subject matter experts (âOpportunities to Par- ticipate,â APWA n.d.). APWA issues the following certifications to its members who are employed by PW agencies and meet eligibility cri- teria (âCertification,â APWA n.d.): â¢ The Certified Public Fleet Professional is intended for fleet professionals who supervise, manage, oversee, or administer fleet services within or for a public fleet entity. â¢ The Certified Public Infrastructure Inspector is intended for persons who inspect the construction of public infra- structure (e.g., roadways, highways, utilities, bridges, dams), facilities (e.g., pump stations, treatment plants, water storage facilities), and other types of construction work and materials to ensure compliance with plans and specifications. â¢ The Certified Stormwater Manager is intended for experts in the public and private sectors who coordi- nate and implement stormwater management programs for city, county, state, provincial, and federal agencies. These people assist in administering drainage, flood control, and water quality programs. APWA also has an accreditation program for PW agen- cies, divisions, or special districts that complete a voluntary, objective compliance with the recommended practices set forth in the Public Management Practices Manual (âAccred- itation and Self-Assessment,â APWA n.d.). The objectives of the program are to â¢ Create impetus for organizational self-improvement and stimulate a general raising of standards for the department. â¢ Offer a voluntary evaluation and educational program developed by and for a public works agency rather than a government-regulated activity. â¢ Improve public works performance and the provision of services. â¢ Recognize good performance and provide motivation to maintain and continuously improve and maintain performance. â¢ Increase professionalism. â¢ Provide for succession planning. â¢ Instill pride among agency staff and local elected officials. AASHTO Transportation Curriculum Coordination Council AASHTOâs Transportation Curriculum Coordination Coun- cil (TCCC, www.tccc.gov) seeks to âimprove the quality of construction, rehabilitation and maintenance of the trans- portation infrastructure by increasing the knowledge and skills of the personnel who work in these disciplines.â The TCCC has partnered with FHWA and NHI to provide state DOTs and PWs and the industry with free online courses that cover the range of competencies identified for various levels of transportation personnel in the following technical areas: â¢ Construction â¢ Employee development â¢ Maintenance â¢ Materials â¢ Pavement preservation â¢ Traffic and safety. Competencies are defined as âobservable, measurable actions to be performedâ and are assigned to four skill levels starting at Level I (entry level) and progressing to Level IV (management and administrative level). All state DOTsâalong with PWs, universities, and the pri- vate sectorâhave used this training resource (âTraining Resources,â TCCC n.d.). International Municipal Signal Association The International Municipal Signal Association (www. imsasafety.org) is âdedicated to providing quality certi- fication programs for the safe installation, operation and maintenance of public safety systems; delivering value for members by providing the latest information and education in the industryâ (âIMSAâInternational Municipal Signal Associationâ n.d.). IMSA offers education and certification programs in the following areas: â¢ Electronics in traffic signals â¢ Fiber optics for ITS â¢ Fire alarm monitoring â¢ Flagging and basic traffic control â¢ Interior fire alarm â¢ Microprocessors in traffic signals â¢ Municipal fire alarm â¢ Roadway lighting â¢ Signs and markings
53 â¢ Telecommunicator/public safety dispatch â¢ Traffic signals â¢ Traffic signal inspection â¢ Work zone traffic control safety. American Traffic Safety Services Association The American Traffic Safety Services Association (www. atssa.com) is an international trade association representing companies and individuals in the traffic control and road- way safety industry. ATSSA also provides related resources, including a webpage with state training requirements (âState Training Requirements,â ATSSA n.d.). ATSSA offers the following seven categories of certification: â¢ Traffic Control Technician â¢ Traffic Control Specialist â¢ Pavement Marking Technician â¢ Pavement Marking Specialist â¢ Traffic Control Design Specialist â¢ Flagger Instructor Training â¢ Certified Pedestrian Safety Professional. American Road and Transportation Builders Association The American Road and Transportation Builders Asso- ciation (www.artba.org) is a national transportation- construction-related association that offers safety-related training and publications through its online store, includ- ing the following: â¢ OSHA 10-Hour Training: This course addresses 12 key construction-work-zone-related safety and health topics. It is appropriate for workers, supervisors, own- ers, and safety managers. â¢ The OSHA Answer Book: This publication contains all of OSHAâs general industry regulations and explana- tions of the Injury and Illness Prevention Program. â¢ Safety Video Three-Pack: This three-pack includes the safety videos Avoiding Runovers & Backovers, Playing It Safe with PPE (Personal Protective Equipment), and Flagging Fundamentals. Other Training State DOTs and PWs provide their field personnel with new employee training and orientation. Incorporating emergency training sessions into these established programs can allevi- ate scheduling difficulties and ensure that new hires receive required training. Personal and family preparedness, an aspect of continu- ity of operations, is an important topic, as there have been instances in which responders have returned home to tend to their families during a disaster or emergency. By prepar- ing employees and their families for emergency situations, agencies can ensure that their workers will not be overly distracted and will be able to focus on the emergency itself (Edwards and Goodrich 2011, p. 14). FINDINGS ON THE USE OF EXERCISES Exercises are very useful in providing personnel with opportunities to practice what they have learned. Exercises provide information and insights about plans, processes, practices, and training needs; and provide information for the creation of improvement plans. Hot washes and after- action reports are formal HSEEP mechanisms designed to solicit and gather this information. The participation level of M&O field personnel in exer- cises varies from state to state. The case example participating agencies and information obtained from the screening survey suggest that while it is impractical for a high percentage of field personnel in any one district to attend an exercise at any one time, state DOTs do encourage their field personnel to participate in exercises when feasible. Some state DOTs indi- cated that not many of their field personnel are able to do so. As noted earlier, other agencies often take the lead in organiz- ing exercises and may not always view state DOTs and PWs as equal emergency management partners, making it difficult to schedule exercises on dates and locations convenient to their field personnel. Emergency preparedness exercise require- ments for nuclear power plant operators and state and local governments related to nuclear facilities are determined by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and FEMA. State DOT and PW personnel within the vicinity of a nuclear facility may be required to participate in these exercises. For example, New Hampshireâs nuclear power plant, Seabrook Station, is located in Rockingham County and has a 10-mile Emergency Planning Zone (EPZ). Seventeen towns in the county and six Massachusetts towns are within the Seabrook EPZ. The New Hampshire communities have emergency response plans that include their local highway agencies and state DOT districts. The plans are developed with assistance from the state EMA and input from stake- holders. The communities hold a series of about three exer- cises involving these plants every other year; these exercises lead up to a graded exercise led by New Hampshire Home- land Security and Emergency Management. New Hamp- shire also has five towns in Cheshire County that are located in the EPZ for a nuclear power plant in Vernon, Vermont. The communities and highway agencies participate in a similar exercise program (K. DesRoches, Community Col- lege System of New Hampshire, personal communication, May 3, 2013). The screening survey includes a question on the extent of M&O field personnel participation in exercises. The results are presented in Table 31. More than half of the state DOTs
54 responding to this question (11 of 21) reported that M&O field personnel are required to participate in full-scale exer- cises; 9 of 21 state DOTs reported that they are required to participate in functional exercises. In addition, 7 of 20 state DOTs reported required participation in drills, 9 of 21 in TTXs, 6 of 20 in workshops, and 6 of 19 in seminars. TABLE 31 STATE DOT FIELD PERSONNEL PARTICIPATION IN EXERCISES (BY EXERCISE TYPE) Exercise Type M&O Field Personnel Do Not Participate Required Voluntary Total Responses Full-scale exercises 6 11 4 21 Functional exercises 5 9 7 21 Drills 5 7 8 20 Table-top exercises 6 9 6 21 Workshops on emergency opera- tions and/or haz- ards awareness 5 6 9 20 Seminars on emergency opera- tions and/or haz- ards awareness 4 6 9 19 The Missouri DOTâs philosophy is to participate in as many state and local exercises as possible. MoDOT has a performance measure for involvement in emergency and disaster response that tracks involvement of its personnel in exercises; about 10 percent of the DOTâs field personnel are able to participate. MoDOT also treats actual incidents as learning opportunities for its field personnel. The Arizona DOTâs M&O management encourages its districts to hold exercises and to participate in local drills, TTXs, workshops, FEs, and FSEs as available; and to use statewide FSE results to develop TTXs for district field per- sonnel. ADOT noted that, at any one time, participation lev- els cannot be a high percentage of the field personnel owing to the nature of their work responsibilities. At the Texas DOT, most district-level emergency response personnel, including the emergency management coordinator, participate in exercises (FSEs, FEs, drills, TTXs, seminars, and workshops) held throughout the state. The Tennessee DOT organized one FSE a year for its field personnel from 2011 to 2013. About 15 percent of its field personnel participated. The Illinois DOT conducts annual exercises (TTXs, FEs, and FSEs) on its plansâevacuation plan, earthquake plan, and other emergency operations plansâin which field personnel participate. The plans are adjusted based on the results of the exercises. The percentage of participating field personnel varies by worker category and across the DOTâs nine districts: approximately 75 percent to 80 percent of the operations engineers, field engineers, field technicians, lead/ lead workers, and lead workers participate in these exercises, and 35 percent to 50 percent of highway maintainers partici- pate in the FSEs (T. Korty, Illinois DOT, personal communi- cation, Sept. 18, 2013). At WSDOT, the Exercise Planning Teams design, develop, conduct, and evaluate exercises and are comprised of the Emergency Management Working Group, Office of Emergency Management, and relevant regions, areas, and divisions. The Team âis the backbone of exercises and a high level of interest, cooperation and commitment by the mem- bers will be the difference between a successful and unsuc- cessful exercise. (WSDOT 2011, Appendix C). WSDOTâs EOP states that the agency will conduct a minimum of one FSE a year; however, if there is an activation, the require- ment can be waived. The office/region/district may orga- nize some exercises while the WSDOT Office of Emergency Management may organize others. WSDOT participates in collaborative exercises with other entities including other states, local jurisdictions, FEMA, and the U.S. Coast Guard (though not many field personnel are able to participate in these exercises). The WSDOT Emergency Management Working Group with oversight from the WSDOT Office of Emergency Management determines which WSDOT per- sonnel must attend the exercises. Other state DOTs participate in exercises conducted by other entitiesâusually their state EMAsâand send a por- tion of their field personnel to these exercises. For instance, the Ohio DOT participates in exercises required by its state EMA. WSDOT states that exercises âhad a substantial impact on improving performance during an actual emer- gencyâ and also notes that exercises provide a way to inform and educate the public, news media, and the community (WSDOT 2011, Appendix C). Discussion-Based Exercises Discussion-based exercises were discussed in detail in chap- ter three. This section presents findings related to the partici- pation of case example state DOT M&O field personnel in discussion-based exercises. Tabletop Exercises The Iowa DOT plans three or four regional TTXs a year. In the spring of 2013, two regional TTXs were held with 50â60 persons attending each. Participants included both state DOT personnel and the state patrol. The TTXs focused on winter weather with multiple crashes and included scenarios on communications and resource movement. A future exer-
55 cise will focus on flooding. In the future these exercises may be converted into functional exercises. The New Hampshire LTAP Center provided interac- tive TTXs to personnel. Several training scenarios had been created for training purposes, but additional scenarios were desired. Other agencies were interested in the type of training New Hampshire had been providing and expressed similar concerns and interests (K. DesRoches, personal communication, Oct. 23, 2012). The Arizona DOTâs districts hold TTXs that relate to ADOTâs statewide exercises. For instance, in 2012, each of ADOTâs districts held a TTX focusing on the improvised explosive device scenario that had been the focus of ADOTâs 2011 statewide exercise. Half of the Missouri DOTâs exer- cises are TTXs, and field personnel from MoDOTâs district offices participate in these exercises. The Washington DOT developed a TTX based on an actual incident, a 50-vehicle pileup that occurred at Sno- qualmie Pass in 2007. The TTX scenario involves severe winter weather causing whiteout conditions. A semi spins out of control on the I-90 and, within minutes, 57 vehicles are involved in the crash and the entire roadway is blocked. The exercise sought to test communications, transportation response capabilities to clear the roadway and assist stranded drivers, and public notification. The I-STEP Highway and Motor Carrier AASHTO Peer Exchange Tabletop Exercise, which took place at the 2012 Transportation Hazards and Security Summit and Peer Exchange, highlighted regional prevention, protection, and response practices. The TTX scenario consisted of a terrorist attack against critical infrastructure and an attack against a critical bridge coinciding with a natural disaster. The par- ticipants were primarily state DOT representatives, but the exercise was not targeted toward field personnel. Workshops and Seminars At the Texas DOT, most district-level emergency response providers participate in various workshops and seminars held throughout the state. For instance, TxDOT provides annual hurricane training in the form of a workshop. The 2013 day- long workshop was held on April 23, 2013; it covered evacu- ation, re-entry, cleanup, and response techniques. Protocols concerning the suspension of construction schedules were presented, and radio communications and interoperability issues were discussed. Debris and environmental contracts, issues related to the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21), and FWHA Emergency Relief and FEMA Public Assistance reimbursement issues were also covered. Data input needs for the Maintenance Management System were discussed, and volunteer management guidance was provided. Typically, 90â100 TxDOT personnel partici- pate in the workshops. Key district staff members, including district engineers and M&O directors, are in attendance. Field personnel from the Vermont Agency of Transporta- tion typically attend six discussion-based exercises (semi- nars or workshops) a year. The seminars are on hazards and threats pertinent to Vermont and to VTrans facilities, and are held in various locations and venues. Operations-Based Exercises Operations-based exercises (drills, FEs, and FSEs) were discussed in detail in chapter three. This section presents findings related to the participation of field personnel in operations-based exercises. Drills State DOTs and PWs use drills to provide their field per- sonnel with hands-on experience on specific functions/pro- cesses, equipment and technologies. Drills are typically held at the local or regional level. For instance, Arizona, Ten- nessee, and Texas DOTs hold local or district level drills on specific functions and equipment. â¢ Arizona DOT and VTrans noted that their personnel undergo drills in radiological response. â¢ WSDOT holds drills to âpractice and perfect one small part of the response plan and help prepare for more extensive exercises, in which several functions will be coordinated and tested.â Who must attend is determined by the WSDOT Emergency Management Working Group with oversight from the WSDOT Office of Emergency Management. Functional Exercises The Iowa DOT plans and holds three to four regional TTXs per year. In the future, these may be converted into FEs. Half of the Missouri DOTâs exercises are FEs; typically, 10 per- cent or more of the field personnel are involved in these exer- cises. Scenarios have included earthquakes; severe weather, including snow, ice, and tornados; and situations involving nuclear power plants and terrorism. Full-Scale Exercises At TxDOT, most district-level emergency response personnel, including the emergency management coordinator, participate in exercises (FSEs, FEs, drills, TTXs, seminars, and work- shops) held throughout the state. TxDOT organizes and hosts at least one FSE each year. These exercises typically focus on contraflow evacuation. In 2012, TxDOT, the Texas Department of Public Safety, the fire marshal, and local law enforcement agencies participated in a contraflow exercise spanning a sec- tion of I-37 from Corpus Christi to San Antonio (Figures 10
56 and 11). Personnel and equipment were mobilized at each ramp, although the ramps remained open to traffic. This process was timed and evaluated. The 2013 exercise was held in Houston on May 29, 2013; it was a larger contraflow exercise and involved sections of I-10 and I-45. More districts and a larger number of field personnel participated in this exercise. FIGURE 10 2012 Texas DOT Contraflow Evacuation Exercise (Courtesy: TxDOT). FIGURE 11 2012 Texas DOT Contraflow Evacuation ExerciseâCable barrier removal (Courtesy: TxDOT). The Tennessee DOT organized one FSE a year for its field personnel from 2011 through 2013. About 15 percent of its field personnel participated in each exercise. Districts hold drills for field personnel on various pieces of equipment, such as snowplows, chainsaws, and salt trucks. Field per- sonnel also participate in numerous exercises held by other agencies and organizations. Because the state has accepted TDOT personnel as emergency responders, TDOT is gener- ally invited to participate in 20â30 exercises held by differ- ent entities in different jurisdictions. Currently, 10 percent of the Rhode Island DOTâs field per- sonnel participate in FSEs organized by the state EMA. This level of participation is expected to continue. In Vermont, all VTrans field personnel undergo 4- to 5-day FSEs on hur- ricanes and weapons of mass destruction organized by the stateâs Emergency Operations Center. MoDOT participates in at least one multiagency FSE (hosted by another agency) per year. ADOT included M&O, emergency preparedness and management, and communications personnel in a 2011 state- wide exercise on an improvised explosive device explosion. TSAâs Intermodal Security Training Exercise Program (I-STEP) offers transportation security exercises, services, and tools to transportation modal operators including state DOTs. The I-STEP tools include TTX and FE exercise design, evalu- ation, and tracking software. Support services run the gamut from scenario development to development of exercise evalua- tion guides. TSA recently introduced the Exercise Information System to provide transportation industry stakeholders with scenarios and objectives. The Exercise Evaluation System tool helps evaluators document exercise results and provide imme- diate feedback to participants, and the Evaluation Director tool can integrate multiple evaluations into an after-action report (âIntermodal Security Training Exercise Program,â TSA n.d.). Exercise Evaluation The Homeland Security Exercise and Evaluation Program is âa set of guiding principles for exercise programs, as well as a common approach to exercise program management, design and development, conduct, evaluation, and improve- ment planningâ (HSEEP 2013). State EMAs follow HSEEP guidance in designing and evaluating their exercises. In general, state DOT case example participants who develop exercises said they follow this guidance. One state DOT uses HSEEP Exercise Evaluation Guides for large exercises, but it uses less in-depth evaluations and metrics to evaluate smaller exercises. The focus of these evaluations is on com- paring player actions with the objectives. Exercise Scenarios Scenarios are used in both discussion-based and operations- based exercises. They help participants focus on hypo- thetical but realistic situations and enhance their critical
57 thinking abilities by encouraging them to consider the vari- ous response options, risk factors, safety issues, and coor- dination activities that should be implemented. State DOTs that develop their own exercises usually select all-hazards scenarios or those that focus on hazards and challenges their personnel might actually face. In choosing scenarios, ADOT selects those with an all- hazards perspective. For instance, some scenarios have been functionalâfocusing on communications, organization, and so on. ADOT also uses hazard-specific scenarios such as wildfire, hazmat, traffic, terrorism, and power outage. The Iowa DOT holds three to four TTXs each year. For these exercises, winter weather has been a focus of the sce- narios, and flooding is planned as a scenario in a future exer- cise. All-hazards scenarios including communications and resource movement are also included in the exercises. MoDOT varies its scenarios to provide training on a wide range of possible disasters and emergencies, including earth- quakes, severe weather (snow, ice, tornadoes), nuclear power plant scenarios, and terrorism. TxDOT focuses on contra- flow evacuations for its annual exercises. In Tennessee, each TDOT region faces different hazards, a situation that dictates hazard-specific training and exercises. Eastern Tennessee has two nuclear power plants, four other nuclear facilities, and snowstorms, while western Tennessee has earthquakes and flooding. The midstate area has floods and tornadoes. Flood, rain, and seismic events are of most concern with respect to highway bridges. Of TDOTâs 820 scour-critical bridges, 75 percent are in western Tennessee. WSDOT uses the building block approach to training and exercises, and selects specific hazards (e.g., earthquake, fire, tsunami, dam failure, volcanic debris flow, winter storms) applicable to its state and regions. Needs assessment results are also used to create the scenarios. It should be noted that only a small percentage of WSDOT field personnel are actu- ally able to participate in these exercises. Table 32 summarizes the exercise scenarios used by state DOTs that participated in the case examples and in the screening survey. Training and Exercises for PWs State DOTs typically do not pay public works personnel to undergo training and exercises, and do not provide training or exercises targeted toward them. However, some state DOTs are recognizing that PW agenciesâwhich do not have a good understanding of the federal-aid process, federal reimburse- ment programs, and state DOT contracting proceduresâ encounter difficulties during disasters and emergencies. This situation can cause issues for the state DOTs that must admin- ister the Emergency Relief program on behalf of FHWA or are trying to support PWs in repairing damaged facilities. TABLE 32 SUMMARY OF EXERCISE SCENARIOS USED BY STATE DOTS Implementation Issues All-Hazards Organization Communications Evacuation Resource movement Hazard-Specific Dam failure Earthquake Flooding Hurricane Lahar Nuclear Power outage Terrorism Tornado Traffic Tsunami Wildfire Winter weatherâsnow, ice One of the recommendations from the Irene Innovation Task Force Report was to clarify the role of VTrans in train- ing key stakeholders (VTrans 2012, p. 15). As noted in the report, VTrans considers its towns to be key stakeholders, especially during disasters. Unfortunately, the towns were confused regarding eligibility criteria for the FEMA Pub- lic Assistance and FHWA Emergency Relief programs. In addition, many towns did not have an emergency response plan. Tom McArdle, assistant director of public works for Montpelier, notes in the report: Time elapsed before the . . . âkick-offâ meetings were conducted and guidance for towns was disseminated. During this time period, many decisions about repairs (immediate needs & permanent) needed to be made. This is a time period when mistakes in procuring services can and often do occur. This can include decisions about whether to repair or rebuild a road or culvert, whether competitive bids for services are necessary or not, whether environmental permits must be secured, and under which circumstances. With a wide impact area, VTrans officials are spread thin and guidance is limited. . . . Periodic training (in public assistance) would be beneficial to conduct self-assessments in advance of the arrival of FEMA & FHWA disaster response teams so that funding of repairs is not jeopardized. (Irene Innovation Task Force Report, VTrans, 2012, p. 14) NYSDOT noted that because of the scope of the Super- storm Sandy disaster, it is being forced to outsource aspects of the reimbursement process pertaining to processing
58 detailed damage incident reports (DDIRs) received from counties and locals. Training and Exercises for Contractors State DOTs typically do not pay for contractors to participate in emergency training and exercises. They expect that the contractors have acquired the necessary skills for their work and have completed any required training. VTrans stated in its Irene Innovation Task Force Report that better trained contractors would be beneficial for future disasters (2012, p. 15). One of the report recommendations was to clarify the role of VTrans in training key stakehold- ers, including its own contractors (2012, p. 15). The report also stated that many contractors were not familiar with VTrans billing requirements (which caused delays in pay- ments) and that some subcontractors were not familiar with VTrans safety regulations (which had safety implications) (2012, p. 15). ADOTâs hazmat contractors for routine and nonroutine response are required by state contract to take IS-100 and IS-700 training in addition to the appropriate hazmat train- ing. Also, ADOT involves the contractors in training and exercises when appropriate; for example, ADOT trainers worked with a towing company to develop a hazmat scenario for a statewide exercise in November 2013. It should be noted that ADOT does not typically pay contractors to participate in training and exercises. TDOT requires its contractors to have taken IS-100 and IS-700 and to have the appropriate equipment licenses. Con- tractors who are supervisors must have also taken IS-200 and IS-800. In addition, TDOT requires contractors to par- ticipate in TTXs and FEs. Training and Exercises for Law Enforcement and Fire Departments Some state DOTs provide training to law enforcement and fire departments; for example, ADOT holds meetings for local police and fire departments for its construction proj- ects, and has held TTXs and workshops on how construction will affect access to the area or affect emergency traffic pass- ing through the area.