What is Traffic Incident Management (TIM)?

The Omaha/Council Bluffs metro area responder community is shaping the next generation of TIM. They are working actively together to improve the on-scene safety of our first responders, increase the safety of our community, and reduce congestion on our highways. TIM brings emergency professionals and the public together so that everyone is aware of traffic incidents and they can be cleared to get traffic back to normal as quickly and safely as possible. Effective TIM keeps traffic moving and improves the safety of motorists, crash victims, and emergency responders involved with or passing by the incident.

Why is it important?

For professionals who respond to highway incidents, the risk of injury or death is constant. According to the National Traffic Incident Management Coalition (NTIMC) traffic crashes and “struck-by” incidents continue to be a leading cause of on-duty injuries and deaths for law enforcement officers, firefighters, emergency medical services personnel, and towing and recovery professionals. Along with state Department of Transportation (Iowa DOT) and Department of Roads (NDOR) professionals, these heroes of the highway risk their personal safety to provide necessary services to the citizens of the Omaha/Council Bluffs metro area. Safe and quick clearance of highway incidents reduces the exposure to harm and increases the safety for all.

Traffic congestion is “one of the single largest threats” to the nation's economic prosperity and way of life, according to the United States Department of Transportation. NTIMC studies show that traffic incidents are the cause of about one quarter of the congestion on the nation’s roadways. According to the studies, for every minute a freeway lane is blocked due to an incident, it results in four minutes of travel delay. These delays can cause serious impacts to getting you and the goods you rely on where they need to go in a timely manner, ultimately having an impact on the economy and the livability of the communities we call home.

Saving lives, time, and money is a shared priority of local, state, and federal partners.


The TIM Response Program brings together all groups involved in clearing an incident from the roadway to:

Increase responder, traveler, and construction worker safety.

Improve the mobility of people and goods.

Reduce congestion, fuel consumption, and emissions.

TIM Tidbits

June 2017 Tidbit: When requesting a tow, it’s important for the towing company to know what type of vehicle is involved. Please refer to the handy vehicle identification card that’s been developed if you’re not sure.

March 2017 Tidbit: The start of spring also triggers the start of construction season! During the February and March Working Group Meetings, presentations about construction in the Omaha area and Council Bluffs were given. Did you miss them?
Moving The Metro – Spring/Summer 2017
Council Bluffs Area Construction
West Broadway Reconstruction

Don’t forget that the week of April 3rd is National Work Zone Awareness Week! Wear orange on April 5th in support of work zone support!

October 2016 Tidbit: Have you attended the multi-disciplinary Traffic Incident Management (TIM) training program developed through the second Strategic Research Program (SHRP2)? What are you waiting for? A team of well-trained responders can more quickly reduce the time it takes to clear crashes, offering the benefits of reduced congestion and lost travel time for travelers, as well as the potential to better protect our incident responders --- you! Free training classes are forming now. 3 CEH’s will be awarded for EMS continuing education. Click HERE for more information!

September 2016 Tidbit: According to the Federal Highway Administration 20% of all incidents are secondary crashes. Every effort should be made to move the vehicles involved in a crash or other incident out of the traveled lanes and, if possible, have them meet you at the nearest parking lot. This not only reduces the potential for a secondary crash, it also gets YOU out of traffic! Stay Safe!! (http://www.ops.fhwa.dot.gov/aboutus/one_pagers/tim...)

May 2016 Tidbit: Reviewing a short 10 minutes worth of videos could end up saving your life or someone else’s!

AEGIS (insurance) has developed several electrical and natural gas safety videos for emergency responders. Two videos in the Electric: Recognizing and Avoiding the Hazards (https://www.aegislink.com/content/aegislink/servic...) section of the AEGIS website are particularly beneficial for emergency responders around downed power lines:

  • Chapter 5: Approaching Energized Areas
  • Chapter 6: Energized Vehicle Rescue

March 2016 Tidbit: 2016 Major Construction update.

January 2016 Tidbit: Do you know what to do when there is a down power line? Mistakes around a down power line could result in serious injury or death. The following are important to remember when responding to an incident involving a downed power line.

  • You cannot tell if a downed power line is energized just by looking at it – there may be no sparks or movement.
  • Do not approach fallen power lines until the power company has arrived on scene and confirmed that it is safe to do so.
  • Park away from the down power lines.
  • Stay at least 10 meters (33 feet) away from fallen distribution lines and 32 meters (105 feet) from fallen transmission lines.

See this brief bulletin on safety for first responders around power lines for more information. The difference between a distribution and transmission line is discussed in the bulletin.