Safely Home: New ADOT team devoted to traffic incident response

By Angela DeWelles / ADOT Communications

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

As we said in an earlier news release, The ADOT Incident Response Unit began patrolling the Phoenix metro area this month. This 14-member team is part of ADOT’s Transportation Systems Management and Operations (TSMO) division and will provide traffic control and other assistance at crash scenes. It 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 unit 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.

It's 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.

“ADOT looked at efficiencies,” said Mark Brown, program manager for the Incident Response Unit. “The time between an incident occurring and first responders arriving at the scene represents the biggest chance for a secondary crash. Getting there quickly is important.”

The No. 1 goal for the team is to reduce crashes. To do that, the goal is to cut current response times by half, Brown said.

“We can make that scene safer once we arrive, safer for law enforcement and safer for the traveling public,” he said.