When an ADOT road in the greater-Maricopa County area needs to be closed due to a major crash, emergency or weather-related incident, the Arizona Local Emergency Response Team is put to the task.
Otherwise known as ALERT (what a fitting acronym for this team always ready to act!), the group is made up of 10 ADOT maintenance employees who – on top of their regular daytime duties – volunteer to be on-call 24 hours a day, seven days a week to respond to any emergency call.
Officially, when they’re on duty ALERT drivers can’t be more than 20 minutes away from their truck. But average response time from initial call to an ALERT truck’s arrival on scene is approximately 21 minutes!
So, what’s on the truck?
Everything they’ll need to close a road and direct motorists to a detour route. Traffic cones, flares and glow sticks, signs to direct traffic, water, emergency lighting, flashlights, cameras, and radio communication tools. They also carry a small supply of absorbent material to clean up minor spills and asphalt patch for minor surface repair jobs.
The team doesn’t get called to every single incident on ADOT freeways, but on average handles about 14-20 calls a month (except for one day last month when they had three calls before noon! – See the video above for call No. 2 of that day.)