Office of Operations
21st Century Operations Using 21st Century Technologies

Field Operations Guide for Safety/Service Patrols – Checklists and Visor Cards


Initial Action Items: Within 15 Minutes
No Value Estimate magnitude / expected duration of incident.
No Value Estimate vehicle queue (backup) length.
No Value Identify the need for and request secondary response agencies.
No Value Make appropriate notifications.
No Value Set-up appropriate TTC components based on estimates. Upgrade TTC every 15 minutes.
No Value Set initial taper in direction of traffic travel.
No Value Report to the incident Command / Unified Command Post.
No Value Remove taper in opposite direction of traffic travel.

Vehicle Positioning Checklist

Vehicle Positioning
No Value Limit number of responding vehicles.
No Value Stage unnecessary vehicles off roadway.
No Value Park all vehicles on same side of roadway.
No Value Position apparatus to protect responders.
No Value Minimize emergency lighting.
No Value Set traffic cones for transition and activity area.
No Value Set out cone taper in the direction of travel.
No Value Create a large enough activity area to accommodate apparatus and responders SAFELY.

Personnel Checklist

No Value ALL responders identifiable and in appropriate High Visibility apparel.
No Value Be alert. Minimize exposure. Face traffic.
No Value Place Flagger at accident vehicles site.

Considerations Checklist

No Value Time of day and amount of traffic congestion.
No Value Can vehicles be moved from roadway? Move It!
No Value Can more lanes be opened?
No Value Determine emergency vehicle access route(s).
No Value Will closures create backups on other roadways?
No Value How quickly can all lanes reopen? Minimize on-scene time.
No Value Take steps to avoid secondary accidents.
No Value Look for opportunities to make the scene SAFER.
No Value Update dispatch periodically and as incident changes
(escalation, termination, queue estimate, etc.).

Haz-Mat Safety Checklist

Haz-Mat Safety Checklist
No Value Notify dispatch immediately upon detection of an unidentified or placarded cargo spill.
No Value Approach incident cautiously, from upwind.
No Value Stay clear of hazardous cargo and the spill as well as any vapors, fumes, or smoke.
No Value Identify the cargo from placards from a safe distance and update dispatch with the information.
No Value Check the driver’s condition but only approach and assist if it is safe.

Non-Cargo Fluid Spill Quick Action Guide Checklist

Non-Cargo Fluid Spill Quick Action Guide
No Value Determine that spill is vehicle fluid, not cargo.
No Value Stop leaking fluid at the source.
No Value Contain and limit spill from spreading.
No Value Apply available absorbents.
No Value Sweep material off travel lanes.
No Value Make second absorbent application if needed.
No Value Gradually restore traffic flow.
No Value Assure proper notifications are made.
No Value Identify responsible party.
No Value Mark location of material.

Push Bumper Checklist

Push Bumper Checklist
No Value Check bumper alignment.
No Value Look for any obstructions.
No Value Communicate with motorist:

__ What to do
__ Where to go
__ Listen for instructions

No Value Advise motorist of the following:

__ Steering and brake pedal operation will be harder.
__ Turn key to “on.”
__ Place transmission in neutral and release parking brake.

No Value Make gentle bumper contact.
No Value Check traffic.
No Value Get the motorist’s vehicle in motion and back off.
No Value Communicate clearly to STOP
No Value Set the parking brake on the motorist’s vehicle.

Visor Cards

ETTC for Shoulder Assist Visor Card

Diagram showing appropriate service vehicle and traffic cone placement for a motorist assistance stop.

ETTC for Lane Blocking Incident Visor Card

Diagram showing the appropriate placement of vehicles and equipment at the site of an incident.

Traffic Cone Placement Visor Card

Traffic Cone Placement
No Value Start deploying cones at the rear of your vehicle and work your way upstream.
No Value Always face traffic when placing or removing cones.
No Value Space cones equally at least 20 feet apart. Use the striping marks as a distance reference to help with cone placement. The marks are on a 40 foot cycle.
No Value Use 12 cones for the lane closure taper, which should be approximately 240 feet, and four cones along the activity area to quickly make the scene safer.
No Value Place cones around response vehicles and place at least one cone downstream past the crash to allow a parking spot for the ambulance or EMS vehicle.
No Value Increase the number of cones and the distance between cones as the speed of approaching traffic increases.
No Value Borrow additional cones from other responding units or request some from another S/SP unit through dispatch if needed.
No Value Improve traffic flow by moving the transition taper further upstream from the activity area as additional traffic controls are put in place.

Incident Classification Visor Card

Photo of a major incident in which a jacknifed trailer has crushed a pickup truck against a line of concrete barriers, blocking the roadway.
Major Incident

Incident Classification

MAJOR Incident = Expected Duration of More Than 2 Hours

Examples: chain reaction or multiple commercial vehicle crashes;
crashes with major medical response; Haz-Mat, overturned tractor trailers; structural damage; wild fires

INTERMEDIATE Incident = Expected Duration of 30 minutes to 2 hours

Examples: major roadway debris or cargo spills; overturned cars, RVs or small trailers; multi-vehicle crashes

MINOR Incident = Expected Duration of Less Than 30 Minutes

Examples: disabled vehicles in a travel lane or on the shoulder, minor crashes that can be moved or relocated to the shoulder, minor roadway debris.

Photo of a service patrol operator adding gas to the tank of a disabled vehicle on the side of a highway.
Minor Incident – Disabled Vehicle

Incident Priorities Visor Card

  1. Save lives:
    1. Make safety your first priority.
    2. Preserve the well being of responders, injured persons, and passing motorists.
  2. Stabilize the incident:
    1. Set up emergency temporary traffic controls.
    2. Prevent secondary crashes by warning approaching traffic.
    3. Practice safe, quick clearance; move crash vehicles as soon as permitted.
    4. Follow agency policy for scene preservation to protect evidence when necessary.
  3. Protect property and the environment:
    1. Contain spilled vehicle fluids to limit environmental damage.
    2. Upgrade traffic controls and advance warning.