The Program • The Roadway Incident Response Program is a coordinated effort by the Metro Nashville Department of Public Works, the Metropolitan Police Department, and the Mayor’s Office of Emergency Management to assist the traffic flow on streets and roadways in emergency situations. • This program was initiated in November 2003. Roadway Incident Response Vehicles are available for assistance and are equipped with various traffic control devices including Electronic Variable Message Signs for redirecting traffic and passing information of a situation on to motorists for informational needs. • Currently, operational hours are Monday through Friday, 6am until 7:30 pm, and on-call nights and weekends.
Program Purpose The purpose of the program is to provide the following services: • Reduce traffic delays caused by vehicle accidents, disabled vehicles, and other lane closing situations on Metro Roadways • Remove debris, handle small hazmat situations such as fuel spills, and other traffic obstructions, which may impede, possibly cause, or contribute to an accident • Assist in traffic control during special events in order to reduce area congestion and direct participants in the proper direction • Aid in scene management during emergency situations involving Police, Fire, OEM units • Provide help to disabled motorists by assisting in arrangements for towing, providing small amounts of gasoline, and other minor repair needs
Program Status • Since the program was implemented in November 2003 the Roadway Incident Response Team has provided protection from oncoming traffic and assisted in getting disabled vehicles on their way to over 10,000 motorists who otherwise would have been at risk and stranded. Some of the services provided included changing tires, providing fuel, battery boosts, and calling for a tow truck. Not only does this help the average citizen when their vehicle becomes disabled, it also helps to keep the surrounding traffic flowing by getting everything back to normal as soon as possible. • In addition, these units have worked over 4500 traffic accidents since program implementation. These units assisted Police, Fire, and other emergency responders by providing protection for those officers involved in the accident investigation and responders treating the injured on the scene. Through the use of Emergency Lights and Electronic Variable Message Signs mounted on the vehicles, the Roadway Incident Response Units provide traffic control by directing other nearby motorists around the scene, which increase safety for all.
Ready To Respond • Armed with the latest technology such as computers with cellular internet connections and GPS locators, these units constantly monitor all traffic incidents within the county while receiving live radar and weather reports, instant messaging and email. This allows response times and reporting to be up to the minute for any situation.
Building Success • The success of this program, with six units and operators responding to 20,000 calls for help since inception, has led to requests for an expansion and more Roadway Incident Response Units may be hitting the road in the near future. • As Nashville and the surrounding areas continue to grow and traffic becomes more congested. These units will be patrolling, helping those in need along the roadways, and providing greater safety to both the motoring public and emergency responders in order that everyone can proceed to their destination as smoothly as possible.
What It’s All About (Emergency Responders) On Thursday, August 5th, a West Bike officer discovered an odd sight in the intersection of Wedgewood at 12th Avenue South. An old 1973 Ford pickup truck with the hood raised was turning circles in the roadway. There was no driver. The vehicle was traveling fast enough that it was unapproachable. I sent officers to help block the intersection while we considered our options. We have spike strips, but we quickly determined that these could not be used because the vehicle could keep going in a more haphazard manner. I asked whether there were any units available without an airbag, and we only had one vehicle available. Officers on the scene quickly advised that the truck was moving far too fast for this to occur safely. A medical unit was requested to stand by in case injuries were received during this sort of a maneuver. It was quickly becoming clear that we couldn’t go without action for much longer because the truck was circling closer to a sidewalk, which could have sent it careening down a hill or into the adjacent gasoline pumps. Then, I though to request a “Baby DOT” truck, as we affectionately call the Public Works trucks. You can’t imagine how glad I was to hear that one was nearby. I requested that they run emergency to the scene and they did. Within two minutes, your truck, operated by George Allen, was on the scene. He gave the driverless truck one push, and quickly pushed it again when there wasn’t enough response. Mr. Allen safely stopped the truck on the second attempt without any damage to the truck, any injury to any persons or other property, and with minimal damage to the Baby DOT truck. Myself and the other supervisors who were having to try to come up with ways to deal with this situation were SO relieved! Please pass on our gratitude. The training these guys receive was evident today. George Allen did a great job. Our flimsy patrol units would have been no match for that heavy truck, but without your guys we wouldn’t have had another option. THANKS!! Sgt. T. Chick Metro Police Dept, Nashville Acting Lieutenant, B Detail West
Getting Them On Their Way (Citizens) I would like to express my thanks to the Metro Public Works Roadway Response Program for assistance provided when I experienced a tire blowout on Ellington Parkway between Trinity Lane and Douglas Avenue this morning during rush hour. I was relieved to see the emergency vehicle pull up behind me and a very nice young man approach. From the start, he was very courteous and professional. He quickly and efficiently removed the tire and replaced it with the spare. I expressed my gratitude to him and asked his name. I learned that my responder was Josh Elliott who had driven from the Rivergate area through rush hour traffic to provide assistance. When I asked what types of assistance the program provides, he mentioned having been called out to the tanker fire on Briley Parkway near County Hospital Road last night. I understand he was on the scene there from 6:00 until 11:00 p.m. last night, after having finished his regular shift. I know how tired he must have been, but there was no hint of complaint about having worked long hours the day before. With the high temperatures, I'm sure there are many more occasions for drivers to call on your team for assistance and appreciate all they do despite the hazardous and uncomfortable working conditions. Ellington Parkway is a particularly dangerous highway and I consider your team potential life savers. But in particular, I wanted to commend your employee, Josh Elliott, for a job well done. He is a real asset to your department and I have sung his praises to my co-workers several times today! Gratefully and sincerely yours, Linda D. Hollars