TRAA Continues Push for Nationwide TIM Responder Training

The Towing and Recovery Association of America, Inc. (TRAA) has an initiative underway to encourage all TRAA members, state towing associations, and their members to host 4-Hour National TIM Responder Training in their city, town or state. The National TIM Responder Training was developed as a result of the Federal Highway Administration’s Strategic Highway Research Program second iteration, otherwise known as SHRP 2. TRAA is part of an interdisciplinary partner effort to implement and institutionalize TIM education into our respective cultures.

As the industry celebrates its 100 Years of Towing anniversary in 2016 and looks forward toward the next 100 years, TRAA wants to focus on safety with a goal to reach zero industry deaths across the country. Working with our interdisciplinary partners to raise public awareness will help us achieve that goal.

TRAA is a member of the National Traffic Incident Management Executive Leadership Group (ELG), with representation from the TRAA Cabinet and Executive Director working with our discipline partner associations on ways we can each implement TIM education into our industry's culture.  Recently TRAA's Director of Certification and Executive Director both participated in special a FHWA meetings in Washington, DC to discuss the integration of TIM content into each respective discipline. Collaborating with representatives from Fire, Police, EMS, Public Works and has generated some great ideas and strengthened relationships. TRAA is encouraged that the towing industry is the largest user of the National Highway Institute's (NHI) TIM web based online TIM Responder Training. TRAA members and other industry professionals are embracing this valuable technology as a great alternative to incorporate the TIM curriculum into the 24/7 lifestyle of our industry.

TRAA will continue to expand its reach this year by attending the Tow Expo International in Dallas, TX from August 4th to 6th. TRAA will be hosting an Association Forum for association presidents and executive directors focusing on safety and awareness. It is TRAA’s pleasure to have James Austrich, FHWA SHRP 2 TIM Responder Training Program Manager, as one of its speakers for this meeting. Tow Expo International will be offering the 4-Hour National TIM Responder Training during the show as well.

TRAA is challenging members of the towing industry to promote the SHRP 2 National TIM Responder Training in their cities towns, and states. TRAA wants these companies and individuals to work with their state association, local towers, fire departments, and law enforcement agencies to organize TIM Responder Training events and promote the online alternative when the hands-on class is not accessible. As of May 16, 2016, only 8.4% of towers across the country have participated in the program. Currently the 4-Hour TIM Responder Training is free of charge but the FHWA funding won't last forever. The towing community should embrace the opportunity for this free training while it remains available. Many states are already requiring TIM Responder Training with more states to follow. TRAA recommends all towing companies train their personnel now.

Hosting an in-person TIM Responder Training is relatively easy. Simply contact at FHWA or your state DOT Office to get started. Hopefully all state towing associations and towing professionals will take up the challenge and host a TIM Responder Training session in their area. For those few areas where it may not be possible, the online version of the TIM Responder Training course is available. Each day we delay jeopardizes the lives of emergency responders on the nation’s roadways.

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Source: Towing & Recovery Association of America, PR Committee