Chatham, Effingham counties teaming up to take on traffic

CHATHAM CO., GA (WTOC) - Police and fire officials from Chatham and Effingham counties are teaming up to take on traffic.

They have formed a team called TIM, which stands for Traffic Incident Management. The concept is meant for all agencies to have a common understanding of roles at accidents scenes.

The team met for the first time on Tuesday. Their focus is to have a smoother coordinated response to any roadway crash, but the group didn't meet because of an increase in crashes on our roadways. They met because of the Savannah Port. The group estimates truck traffic will triple in Chatham, Bryan, Liberty and Effingham counties in the future, thanks to more goods arriving at the port.

"How do we deal with increased truck traffic on the roadways? And how do we better deal with the incidents that are going to inevitably occur as a result of that increased truck traffic? By working together, learning each other, we get off the roadways quicker, minimize the number of injuries to responders, but we also at the same time minimize the number of crashes that are happening in our traffic backups," said Scott Malcolm, Incident Management Specialist.

Representatives from more than 20 entities attended the meeting to learn the priorities of other agencies during a traffic incident.

"This is why we're doing this. This is why we send so many fire apparatus to this, or this is why we send two heavy wreckers to this kind of thing," said Pooler Fire Chief, Wade Simmons. "These are the things that we need. It kind of lets us work things out in advance so we can plan."

Once everyone understands the role other agencies play, the goal is to better coordinate and reduce time clearing the crash, which will hopefully make working conditions safer for all involved.

The goal for the group's second meeting is to review some accidents they had to work on together and highlight areas of opportunity to work more efficiently.

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