Federal Highway Administration Recognizes National Fire Academy For Safety Training
July 7, 2014
First Responders Taught Cutting-Edge Safety Techniques for Highway Emergencies
U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) officials have recognized the U.S. Fire Administration’s National Fire Academy with a plaque honoring the inaugural class of first responders to complete FHWA’s new “Traffic Incident Management” (TIM) train-the-trainers course in Emmitsburg, MD.
“Safety is our top priority,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. “These train-the-trainer programs help get vital safety information to our first responders – the men and women who are the first to arrive at a highway crash – and are the difference between life and death for so many every day.”
Since 2012, 96 training sessions conducted at various locations nationwide have trained over 50,000 firefighters and other first responders. The course, the first of its kind, will be offered at the Academy again this October. It is central to the safety mission of the Strategic Highway Research Program (SHRP2), a large-scale cooperative research program funded by Congress and administered by FHWA in coordination with the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials and the Transportation Research Board.
Each year, an average of nearly 80 first responders and tow-truck operators are struck and killed responding to accidents on U.S. roads and bridges.
During a special ceremony to honor them, nearly 300 firefighters were recognized for their role in learning safer practices at highway accident scenes that will protect firefighters and drivers alike.
“Our goal is to train over one million responders over the next decade, to keep America’s roads safe for everyone,” said Nadeau. “As of last week, we hit the 50,000 mark – six months ahead of schedule – and we have the EMS community to thank for helping to keep America’s roads safe.”
The “Traffic Incident Management” course, a part of FHWA’s ongoing “Every Day Counts” initiative, promotes a more effective, multi-agency incident response and improves safety for first responders. By training fire crews, ambulance drivers, and other first responders how to properly protect their work area while clearing wreckage and freeing accident victims, the course helps to protect emergency workers and reduce traffic congestion caused by roadway crashes.
FHWA plans to conduct at least one training course in every state, including Washington D.C. and Puerto Rico, this year – training thousands of first responders, including over 3,500 instructors who train state traffic incident response teams.