TDOT Opens Nation’s First Highway Accident Training Site for First Responders

AASHTO Journal, 14 November 2014

TDOT Opens Nation’s First Highway Accident Training Site for First Responders

Tennessee’s Department of Transportation and the state Safety and Homeland Security Department opened a first-in-the-nation training site that can simulate actual roadway and crash conditions, which will help train state troopers, ambulance workers and other first responders how to manage a highway accident site to avoid potentially deadly secondary crashes.

“Accidents are going to happen, but the secondary accidents don’t have to happen,” said TDOT Commissioner John Schroer as officials opened the facility where workers can train on responding to car crash injuries, quickly setting up a perimeter and putting up warnings to oncoming traffic.

TDOT posted a video of the event, and of a crash simulation at the site. (See it below)

Another video shows the facility’s full design.

“We know the longer roadways remain closed due to major traffic incidents, the danger of secondary crashes increases dramatically,Schroer added. “Improving emergency response will decrease the risk of secondary crashes, overall congestion, and keep our highways safer for all motorists.”

Tennessee Highway Patrol Colonel Tracy Trott, who came up with the training site concept, said “we have had four state troopers killed in secondary traffic incidents since 2000. This new track will not only help law enforcement, but also enhance the skills of other first responders in the safe and quick clearances of highway incidents.”

The Tennessee Traffic Incident Management Training Facility includes a section of interstate-like roadway ranging from two to six lanes, plus guardrail, a two-way interchange, cable and steel barrier rail, as well as a section of two-lane highway and a four-way intersection.

The facility will be used to simulate a variety of crashes, and allow emergency responders to train on safe and efficient clearance techniques.

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