A TIM Perspective: NFPA 1091

By T.J. Nedrow

Seldom does a newly issued standard have an opportunity to effect change as does NFPA’s 1091: Standard for Traffic Control Incident Management Professional Qualifications. The all-new, long-awaited standard is poised to reduce the risks to response personnel and the public through proper traffic control training. NFPA 1091 promotes safer operations with minimum job performance requirements (JPRs) for traffic control incident management personnel, to help Authorities Having Jurisdiction (AHJs) ensure personnel are adequately prepared to carry out the duties of the assignment.
The standard sailed through the NFPA standards development process with next-to-no hurdles. That is a testament to its worth as standards go, and a credit to the technical committee assembled for their expertise and attention to details.
Why 1091? Let’s turn the clock back a bit first . . . 1091 is a byproduct of the 2006 National Traffic Incident Management (TIM) Summit that developed consensus on a national policy platform for traffic incident management. From there the National Traffic Incident Management Coalition (NTIMC) in short order composed and championed the National Uniformed Goal (NUG) on TIM during its nine years of existence.
A host of national authorities joined the NTIMC, which has long maintained that roadway-related incidents constitute some of the greatest health and safety concerns for us first responders. ResponderSafety.com notes that, “while police, fire, and other emergency personnel put their lives on the line during response operations, secondary incidents often occur due to the lack of traffic control incident management.”
While each participant might do its work very well, the missing piece has been a specific traffic control incident management tool. It was only natural that NFPA JPRs be the answer to employ from your toolbox in addressing performance of TIM training, AHJs’ traffic incident management plans, and individuals’ JPR matrix. What makes 1091 unique is that its composition offers JPRs for all responders. There’s no doubt that the outcome promises to be lifesaving, effective partnerships in traffic control and positive, aggressive incident mitigation.
Of honorable mention, a byproduct to effective management of a traffic incident on our roadways is the promising notion that commuters, commerce, and our very own families can go about their travels as a result of first responders partnering so we all go home.

Want to know more? I encourage you to participate in one of several nationally recognized TIM courses or reach out to your state’s incident management coalition. Make it a goal to have your department, your partners, and yourself 100 percent TIM trained in 2015. The time invested could be your life saved.
T.J. Nedrow is the NVFC’s Washington Director, NVFC primary representative to the NFPA 1091 committee, and CVVFA Emergency Responder Safety Institute member.