Traffic Incident Management
Various traffic incident management scenes - heavy traffic after accident, traffic planning, police car blocking road, overturned car on bridge, detour, rescue workers.
Office of Operations 21st Century Operations using 21st Century Technologies

National TIM Responder Training

QUICK LINKS

Contact List to schedule your in-person training.

Free Online Responder Training - the National Highway Institute (NHI) course offers CAPCE continuing education credit.

Train the Trainer – Course overview for those interested in becoming a first responder trainer.

Free online RSLN training – the Responder Safety Learning Network (RSLN) offers NHI-equivalent training.

Every minute of every day, incident responders put their lives at risk responding to traffic incidents. In the year 2020, even with significantly lower traffic, 46 responders were killed, and many more responders sustained life-altering injuries while working a traffic incident scene.

The 4-hour National Traffic Incident Management Responder Training course teaches every responder community how to safely and quickly clear traffic incidents. Traffic incident responders include emergency medical service (EMS), departments of transportation and public works, fire and rescue, law enforcement, towing and recovery, and other professionals that support traffic incidents management.

Efficient incident response requires seamless collaboration and coordination among responders to meet the needs of those injured, ensure the safety of responders and road users, quickly clear the incident, and prevent secondary crashes. Through the following links, learn about and access free National TIM Responder training options, decide whether this training is right for you, view national and State-level training statistics, and understand how this training came to be:

The FHWA, collaborating with responder communities, has set a one million goal for TIM trained responders. As of 2020, over 500,000 responders have completed the National TIM Responder Training course. Additionally, many fire, EMS, and law enforcement training academies have incorporated the National TIM Responder Training into their curriculum.

For more information on how your Academy, technical college, or towing association can institutionalize the National TIM Responder Training, please reach out to Jim Austrich, FHWA.

Free National TIM Responder Training Options

The National TIM Responder Training course covers notification and scene size-up, safe vehicle positioning, scene safety, command responsibilities, traffic management, special circumstances, and clearance and termination. Upon completion of the course, participants will be able to:

  • Use a common set of practices and advance standards across all responder disciplines.
  • Be equipped with a set of core competencies and strengthening TIM programs in the areas of:
    • Responder safety.
    • Safe, quick clearance.
    • Prompt, reliable, and interoperable communications.

Individuals have the option to attend an in-person four-hour course, complete online self-paced training through two options. Some will also focus on deeper training (Train the Trainer) that will teach individuals to deliver the National TIM Responder Training course. Coming soon is an interactive instructor-led virtual training option.

 

This image is provided by the Tennessee Department of Transportation and it depicts a training session of first responders taking place outdoors.
This image is provided by the Tennessee Department of Transportation and it depicts a training session of first responders taking place outdoors. The training involves a mock up of a crash scene with a rolled over truck. The responders are listening to the instructor as he speaks and points to the rolled over truck. The purpose of the image is to note that training does not always occur indoors and the use of props to recreate a traffic incident scene may be visually helpful for the first responders being trained.

Free In-Person Training

The two images have been provided by the Federal Highway Administration and depict scenes from In-person training of first responders taking place in a classroom setting...
The two images have been provided by the Federal Highway Administration and depict scenes from In-person training of first responders taking place in a classroom setting. The purpose of the images is to depict how classroom in-person trainings can look and what activities they may involve.

Whenever possible, responders are encouraged to take the 4-hour, in-person training, which brings law enforcement, fire and rescue, transportation and public works, towing and recovery, public safety dispatch, medical personnel, and other incident responders together to foster relationships and engage in interactive training. The in-person training is sponsored by TIM partner agencies throughout the United States.
Responders learn how to work together in a coordinated manner, from the moment the first emergency call is made to final scene clearance. This training also provides continuing education credits from the Commission on Accreditation of Pre-Hospital Continuing Education (CAPCE).

Please reach out to a TIM Training Contact for Your State to learn about upcoming in-person training opportunities. If you cannot reach the appropriate contact(s) in your state, please let us know, and we'll be happy to help facilitate.

“One of the biggest benefits of TIM training, if not the biggest, is the ability to bring various disciplines together in a room to receive the same training. For many, this may have been the first time something like this ever happened.”

~ Frank Cheatham, Virginia Office of Emergency Medical Services

Free Online Self-Paced Training

There are two options for online training:

  • Choose the National Highway Institute (NHI) free-web-based training (course number 133126A) if:
  • You are an EMS responder (paramedic, EMT, or other) who may want continuing education credit from the Commission on Accreditation for Pre-Hospital Continuing Education (CAPCE).
  • You would like to learn the content through a single integrated course, with progress at your speed (can stop and resume later).

You will need to add the course to the cart and follow the subsequent registration and login steps to take the course. You must pass the final exam with a 70% or greater and complete the evaluation to print the TIM Responder Training or CAPCE certificate.

This image is a screenshot of the National Highway Institute (NHI) webpage for first responder free-web-based training intended to show what the webpage for the free web-based training looks like...

This image is a screenshot of the National Highway Institute (NHI) webpage for first responder free-web-based training intended to show what the webpage for the free web-based training looks like. The image shows what a first responder would see when visiting the page, which, starting from the top and moving down, is: On the first line, Course Description. On the second line the name of the training is given as National Traffic Incident Management Responder Training - Web-based. On the third line, the Program Area is stated as Design and Traffic Operations. On the fourth line the Course Number is given as FHWA-NHI-133126A. On the fifth line, the classification of the training is given as Web-based Training (WBT). On the sixth line, more information is given for the calendar year, the length of the course being 4.1 hours, the number of credits for the course which are 0.4 units, and the price which is zero dollars (or otherwise free). On the seventh line, Training Level is indicated as Basic. To the right, a button is provided that reads Add To Cart. This allows the page visitors to add the course to their cart and proceed with registering for the course.
  • Choose the Responder Safety Learning Network (RSLN) for modular training.
  • This free resource requires you to complete ten specific online self-paced courses, each with a skills challenge test.
  • Once you earn credit for all ten programs, you will be able to download a special certificate equivalent to completing the National Traffic Incident Management Responder Training Program.

Free Instructor-Led Virtual Training

The FHWA is currently planning the TIM Responder Instructor-Led Virtual Training (ILVT) rollout during the second half of 2021. Please check back for more information. The FHWA piloted the TIM Responder ILVT in 2020, recognizing it can reach a much broader audience, enabling thousands of more responders to obtain this training.

Using this instructional delivery model, participants receive the TIM Responder training from qualified instructors. This training method allows responders in various locations to work together to learn and demonstrate response techniques in the virtual classroom environment.

As with the in-person training, IVLT participants are encouraged to assume the responsibility of a different responder discipline during the exercises so they may consider what the others need to do, and what challenges they face during response operations. Using web browser-based real-time maps to simulate an incident scene, participants place responder vehicles, signage, traffic cones, and other necessary objects on the map for a fully interactive experience. Coming soon will be a mobile application to support the incident response exercises.

Train the Trainer (TtT) Program

The National TIM Responder Train-the-Trainer (T-t-T) program provides course participants the knowledge and materials necessary to conduct TIM training for TIM responders in their area or state. The National TIM Responder Training Program: Train the Trainer course spans 1 to 1.5 days through 8 lessons, over 8 hours, and includes:

  • Introduction
  • TIM Fundamentals and Terminology
  • Communication and Command
  • Safe Vehicle Positioning
  • Scene Safety
  • Traffic Management
  • Special Circumstances
  • Clearance and Termination

Optional Hands-on and Outdoor Activities, including a tabletop exercise, promote communication and collaboration among responder disciplines and provide responders with an opportunity to demonstrate TIM core competencies. The activity may be facilitated through an online collaborative tool that uses real-time maps and locations customized for different states and locales.

The outdoor situational awareness activity is designed to help participants describe how to safely set up the scene perimeter and demonstrate general safety considerations.

Training Wrap-up describes the Training Implementation Plan and resources and the reporting requirements through the National Training SharePoint site.

Upon completing the T-t-T program, individuals are encouraged to support and then lead two or more training courses annually. To learn more about the T-t-T program and the next course, please reach out to Jim Austrich, FHWA.

This image is provided by the Federal Highway Administration and it depicts a screenshot of tool used for an online based responder training hands-on activity....

This image is provided by the Federal Highway Administration and it depicts a screenshot of tool used for an online based responder training hands-on activity. The responder participating in this activity would be trying to recreate the scene of an incident on a freeway, involving a tractor trailer fatality. The screenshot shows the aerial view of a map in satellite mode, and a dialogue box to the left describing the incident to be recreated. By using the tool dialogue box, the users have the option to pin the incident scene and to make the following selections: 1. Select the category of responder vehicle(s). 2. Select the angle of placement of the vehicle. 3. Position the vehicle at the incident scene.

Why Take the National TIM Responder Training?

Why take the four-hour National TIM Responder training course? Because it works. The benefits from this training are multi-fold, saving lives, time, and costs associated with incidents.

The target audience for the training is any TIM responder or TIM-support professional – including emergency management, emergency medical service, fire/ rescue, law enforcement, public works, towing and recovery, transportation safety service patrol, traffic management center, and public safety dispatch at state, regional, or local levels.

Saving Lives

  • TIM-trained responders learn how to safely clear incidents while reducing their traffic exposure risks. The training helps save traffic incident responders' and motorist lives.
  • TIM-trained responders clear incidents more quickly, thereby reducing the likelihood of secondary crashes, which can be more severe than the initial incident.

Saving Time

  • Response techniques shared in this course help reduce the time each responder spends at the incident scene, allowing them to get back to other duties more quickly.
  • The training also helps responders understand the unique duties of each responder community and work collaboratively to save motorists time spent in traffic.

Saving Money

  • Fewer secondary crashes save responder equipment and reduce insurance claims for all parties (motorists and responders).
  • Shorter incidents mean lesser congestion and fewer freight and motorist delays.
  • Faster clean-ups lead to cost savings for incident personnel.

“Having these pre-established relationships between disciplines has been a great step forward to help ensure the safety of responders and motorists. It also saved time and money. Overall, the TIM Responder Training helps all highway responders operate together successfully with the same goal of collective success when responding to an incident.”

~ Chief John Letteney, APEX, NC Police Department

Origins of TIM Responder Training

The TIM Responder Training was developed by responders for responders to ensure the right information is delivered in the right way. The training was developed through the Second Strategic Highway Research Program (SHRP2) in 2012 and promoted through the FHWA Every Day Counts Round 2 (EDC-2) Program from 2013-2014.

The image is provided by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and it depicts a group of first responders outdoors. A sheriff's vehicle...
The image is provided by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and it depicts a group of first responders outdoors. A sheriff's vehicle is parked immediately behind the responder group, performing an after action review. The responders are wearing their protective gear, including retroreflective vests and safety hats.

The FHWA and partner responder communities continue to encourage every responder community to become TIM trained –including law enforcement, fire and rescue, EMS, towing and recovery, transportation, and public works. The nationally recognized training program has proven to be a successful tool in teaching responders how to manage roadway incidents quickly, collaboratively, efficiently, and safely.

Performance Measures

At the close of the year 2020, more than 500,000 emergency responders were trained, whether through in-person or web-based training. The chart below shows training by responder community. The nation is well on its way to meeting its goal to train one million first responders. Please help promote the National TIM Responder Training for your region. For more detailed state-based training performance measures, please reach out to Jim Austrich.

This image depicts a graph that illustrates the number of responders that were trained, as of April 12, 2021, and their respective...

This image depicts a graph that illustrates the number of responders that were trained, as of April 12, 2021, and their respective discipline areas. The x-axis is included at the top. It provides a count of the responders trained and its range is from zero to four hundred thousand. The y-axis depicts the responder discipline and includes the disciplines of Law Enforcement, Fire and Rescue, Towing and Recovery, Emergency Medical Service, Transportation and Public Work, and Other. As of April 12, 2021, there have been: 220 thousand fire and rescue responders trained, over 115 thousand law enforcement responders trained, over 40 thousand towing and recovery responders trained over 40 thousand emergency medical service responders trained and about 15 thousand trained responders of other disciplines. The graph also depicts how many responders are left to be trained for each discipline. There are approximately: 290 thousand law enforcement responders to be trained, 120 thousand fire and rescue responders to be trained 30 thousand towing and recovery responders to be trained 160 thousand emergency medical services responders to be trained 15 thousand transportation and public works responders to be trained less than 20 thousand responder from other disciplines to be trained

Contact Us

Jim Austrich
Office of Operations, Federal Highway Administration
Department of Transportation
(202) 366-0731
james.austrich@dot.gov

Paul Jodoin
Office of Operations, Federal Highway Administration
Department of Transportation
202-366-5465
paul.jodoin@dot.gov

Joseph Tebo
Office of Operations, Federal Highway Administration
Department of Transportation
202-366-9242
joseph.tebo@dot.gov