How fast is fast?
Ask motorists who rely on ITD's Incident Response

ITD’s Incident Response on Interstate 84 in the Treasure Valley always has been timely – just ask the tens of thousands of Treasure Valley drivers who have benefited from the service since it was deployed in the mid-1990s.

But, just how speedy the responses have been, was a mystery – until recently.

Incident Response began tracking response times several months ago to measure efficiency. In February and March, 764 responses yielded an average on-scene arrival time of 10.3 minutes, measured from the time they were dispatched by Idaho State Police (ISP) until they arrived at the incident. Response times did not consider occasions when crews come upon an incident in their regular patrols without being dispatched. “Un-dispatched” service accounts for nearly two-thirds of all responses.

Once on scene, it took an average of just seven minutes to fix a flat, jump-start a car, perform traffic-control duties or fulfill the need.

Given how vital the Incident Response unit is to traffic flow and safety along the 20-mile stretch of I-84 between Nampa/Caldwell and East Boise, the numbers are impressive, say ISP Capt. Steve Richardson and Command Center Coordinator Denise King.
“The Incident Response units are great to work with,” said King. "They are always enthusiastic about responding to various calls, be that for traffic control at a crash scene, to handle a motorist assist, to remove a traffic hazard or check on an abandoned vehicle.”

“Their service is invaluable,” King added. “Incident Response allows the ISP officers on the road to concentrate on investigating crashes or performing patrol functions. We often receive calls from the public or other agencies asking for help from the 'big green trucks' or from the public thanking them.”
“I can't say enough about Incident Response - they are truly a benefit to the motoring public and the officers in the Treasure Valley.”
Richardson added, “Incident Response tends to carry out these motorist assists safely and efficiently on arguably the busiest section of state or federal highway in Idaho – I-84 through the Treasure Valley.”

Referring to the recent containment of a diesel fuel spill, Richardson said, “This is one example of their excellent work. ISP and the citizens of the Treasure Valley rely on them substantially for their valuable services.”

Any incident that clogs the highway has potential to create secondary crashes. The faster the original incident is cleared, the less time motorists and response personnel are exposed to hazards and the possibility of secondary collisions.

For each minute a crash is not cleared, the odds of a secondary crash increases about three percent. Each half hour a crash is not cleared almost doubles the chances of a subsequent crash.

Published 4-19-13