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Development of a highway incident management operational and training guide for incident responders in Illinois.
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  • Abstract:
    Each year highway traffic incidents, such as crashes, place responders on and beside roadways with

    dangerous high-speed traffic. The unexpected conditions of an incident scene have the potential to surprise

    unsuspecting or inattentive drivers, possibly causing an additional crash, termed a secondary incident.

    Because responder safety is a key priority of the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) and the Illinois

    Center for Transportation, and because secondary incidents are frequently more severe than the initial incident,

    ICT researchers, guided by a technical review panel (TRP) of members from multiple incident response

    agencies, studied ways to improve responder safety in Illinois through a training program. A survey of incident

    response agencies throughout Illinois was conducted to assess the current level and type of incident

    management training provided to each group of responders. The research team reviewed the current training

    materials at federal, state, regional, and organizational levels. Based on the statewide survey, comprehensive

    literature reviews, and inputs from the TRP members, a training program was developed. The training intends

    to provide the necessary inter-disciplinary knowledge to incident responders in Illinois. The main objective of

    the training is to keep responders safe, prevent secondary incidents, and reduce fatalities in Illinois, while

    reducing non-recurring congestion caused by the incidents. The training includes approximately 6.5 hours of

    classroom time and is divided into eight modules, each providing valuable training to incident responders. The

    training program was pilot tested in two regions of Illinois prior to finalization. The pilot training sessions

    received very positive feedback from over 50 participants.

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