The purpose of the Highway Incident and Transportation Systems (HITS) Committee is to:
- Engage NASEMSO on highway safety issues relevant to EMS
- Collaborate with highway safety partners to promote their understanding of EMS and to identify opportunities for cooperative efforts to reduce injuries and save lives
- Provide input to NASEMSO Board of Directors on highway safety concerns
The HITS Committee meets the 2nd Wednesday of even-numbered months at 3 PM Eastern and also at the Annual Meeting. The remaining meetings for 2018 are October 10 and December 12.
The HITS Committee depends on partnering with many other organizations involved with highway safety.
Traffic Incident Management (TIM) is a planned and coordinated multi-disciplinary process to detect, respond to, and clear traffic incidents so that traffic flow may be restored as safely and quickly as possible. Effective TIM reduces the duration and impacts of traffic incidents and improves the safety of motorists, crash victims and emergency responders. https://ops.fhwa.dot.gov/eto_tim_pse/about/tim.htm
The Road to Zero Coalition, managed by the National Safety Council, issued a comprehensive report laying out strategies to end roadway deaths in the U.S. by 2050. It is the first time so many organizations have collaborated to put forth a plan to address motor vehicle fatalities, which recently increased after years of decline. NASEMSO is a member of the Road to Zero Steering Group. https://www.nsc.org/road-safety/get-involved/road-to-zero
The EMS and Highway Safety Connection is a website dedicated to promoting collaboration between state EMS Officials and state highway safety officials. The site explains how you can improve collaboration, especially with regard to the state’s Strategic Highway Safety Plan (SHSP), a statewide-coordinated safety plan that provides a comprehensive framework for reducing highway fatalities and serious injuries on all public roads.
It is during the SHSP process that statewide goals, objectives, and key emphasis areas are established. The four E’s of highway safety – engineering, education, enforcement and emergency medical services (EMS) – must be considered during this process.
Toward Zero Deaths, National Strategy on Highway Safety
The National Strategy on Highway Safety provides a long term platform of consistency for state agencies, private industry, national organizations and others to develop safety plans that prioritize traffic safety culture and promote the national TZD vision. As an active participant on the TZD Steering Committee, NASEMSO played a key role in shaping the National Strategy. Emergency Medical Services is one of six key areas in the document.
The six key focus areas are:
- Safer Drivers and Passengers
- Safer Vulnerable Users
- Safer Vehicles
- Safer Infrastructure
- Enhanced Emergency Medical Services*
- Improved Safety Management
NASEMSO Highway Mass Casualty Readiness Project (EIRRA and MIECE)
The National Association of State Emergency Medical Services Officials (NASEMSO) brought together subject matter experts in highway safety, emergency medical services (EMS), trauma systems and emergency communications to create tools designed to quantify and measure readiness to respond to large scale highway incidents. The project was conceptualized following the 2008 Mexican Hat, Utah, motor coach crash, in which all 53 bus passengers were injured – nine fatally. The roll-over occurred in a remote area challenged by limited access to communications, emergency medical response/transport services and hospital capacity, particularly trauma centers. Following its investigation of the Mexican Hat crash, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) made several recommendations surrounding motor coach and roadway safety, but also challenged NASEMSO and the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) to work with the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) to assess the risk of rural travel by large buses. As a result, the Highway Mass Casualty Project was developed.
EIRRA and MIECE: Tools for Evaluating Emergency Response Readiness on Rural Roads
The Highway Mass Casualty Project created two tools aimed at measuring emergency response readiness on the nation’s highways, particularly rural roads. The EMS Incident Response and Readiness Assessment (EIRRA) is a self-assessment tool designed to measure the level of emergency medical preparedness for response to a highway mass casualty incident. It is intended to be used by state, regional and local EMS agencies to evaluate the system’s capability to respond to large scale emergency incidents. In early 2011, EIRRA was completed and subsequently utilized by 28 state EMS offices to assess their respective overall preparedness levels. These initial EIRRA scores can be used as a baseline to identify where resources are lacking and to quantify progress after system improvements are made. EIRRA results could also be used as part of the SAFETEA-LU requirement to identify and select Highway Safety Improvement Program (HSIP) projects.
The Model Inventory of Emergency Care Elements (MIECE, pronounced “mice”) is another emergency response measurement tool, but is at an earlier stage of development. Completed in 2011, the MIECE Proof of Concept was designed to demonstrate the feasibility and utility of an emergency care inventory that displays resources and capacity by segment of interstates and US highways. If developed into a full scale project, MIECE would include a scorecard-like assessment of emergency care resources by geographic area. This data could ultimately be used to create a snapshot in time or dynamic real-time “dashboard” where highway officials, EMS officials, motor coach route planners, and even the public could look at a regularly updated highway map and see the capability of the emergency medical and hospital care system in the area.
The Highway Mass Casualty project was funded by a cooperative agreement between NASEMSO and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) Office of EMS. For further information about EIRRA or MIECE, contact NASEMSO Executive Director Dia Gainor at email@example.com or Program Manager Mary Hedges at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For More Information
Mary Hedges, MPA
NASEMSO Program Manager