Hands-On Training Center Opened, Dedicated to Highway First Responders

April 5, 2018 -

CDOT, Douglas County and the Colorado State Patrol (CSP) today celebrated the grand opening of the state's first traffic incident management (TIM) training center.

This will be second such facility in the United States dedicated to providing hands-on training in a realistic and full-scale setting for first responders. Most training currently is conducted online or in a classroom, but rarely beyond a tabletop exercise with matchbox vehicles.

Since this dedicated center replicates a concrete interstate and other highway segments, it will further equip first responders with the skills and training they need to safely clear incidents from the roadway.

"Partnering with Douglas County and the State Patrol is another excellent example of how we can pool our respective resources to improve highway safety," said CDOT Executive Director Michael Lewis. "As our roadways continue to get more crowded, it's imperative that our first responders have the best level of training available. These various partnerships allowed us to build this training center, helping us to meet the traffic challenges of today and tomorrow."

The $1.5 million center, in northern Douglas County, is the first TIM training area constructed with concrete, which requires less maintenance than asphalt. First responders will be able to practice tactics like pushing, up-righting and towing vehicles without damaging the pavement. In addition, it will allow them to practice tactics and strategies that improve safety, and minimize their exposure to traffic hazards when responding to crashes or other incidents.

"On behalf of the Board of Douglas County Commissioners, it is our great honor to play a role in the birth of this new TIM training facility, in support of first responders who willingly put themselves in harm's way to protect and serve others," said Douglas County Commissioner Roger Partridge.

In addition to dedicating the facility to all of Colorado's first responders, memorial plaques were presented to the families of CSP Troopers Jaimie Jursevics and Cody Donahue, honoring their service and sacrifice to the citizens of Colorado. Both were hit and killed by vehicles during traffic stops on I-25 in Douglas County.

The country's first full-scale TIM facility was constructed in 2014 in Nashville.

More About TIM

TIM tactics involve the safe and quick clearance of traffic incidents, improving responder and motorist safety, and reducing travel delays following crashes or other incidents.

  • Responder lives remain at risk every minute they are on an incident scene. For every minute the primary incident continues to be a hazard, the likelihood of a secondary crash increases by 2.8 percent.
  • Federal statistics show up to 25 percent of all traffic incidents are secondary crashes, frequently due to queuing caused by the primary incident. Secondary crashes are estimated to cause 18 percent—nearly one in five—of all fatalities on freeways, including first responders.
  • Nationally, approximately five firefighters, 12 law enforcement officers, and over 50 towing operators are killed each year responding to normal traffic incidents. Additionally, a highway worker is struck and killed every three days in work zones across the nation.
  • Traffic incidents are the single greatest cause of unexpected delays. For every minute a freeway travel lane is blocked during peak periods, it delays traffic about four minutes.

Transportation Matters. CDOT is committed to spending public funds wisely and working to get more out of our system.