Incident Response Unit

In an effort to reduce crashes and congestion, ADOT has developed a brand new team that will focus primarily on traffic incident management.

Incident Response Unit members and equipment

The ADOT Incident Response Unit (IRU) begins patrolling the Phoenix metro area starting Oct. 1, 2019. This 14-member team is part of ADOT’s Transportation Systems Management and Operations (TSMO) and will provide traffic control and other assistance at crash scenes. The IRU will also have the necessary equipment to push or pull stalled vehicles out of traffic and will work to proactively prevent crashes by removing debris from roadways. When not responding to traffic incidents, the team will perform minor highway maintenance tasks.

The IRU replaces ADOT’s Arizona Local Emergency Response Team (ALERT), which operated out of ADOT’s Central Maintenance District and was staffed by employees who volunteered to be available for emergency calls.

IRU is different from ALERT because the new teams are mobile and dedicated full-time to traffic incident management. Previously, ALERT members would have to stop their highway maintenance work and return to their yard to pick up vehicles and equipment before responding to a crash.

The No. 1 goal for the team is to reduce crashes. To do that, the goal is to cut current response times by half. Once they arrive, they can make the scene safer for law enforcement and the traveling public.