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"The International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) endorses the National Unified Goal, and is strongly committed to its implementation," IAFC Executive Director Mark Light said. "Firefighters recognize the need to work with other disciplines to make crash scenes safer and to get the roads open as quickly as possible. We join with our NTIMC partners in calling on motorists to use extra care as they approach and pass roadway emergency scenes. Vehicle-related incidents account for roughly 20 percent of firefighter deaths. A growing number of those are firefighters who are struck at the scene while helping others. Hundreds more are injured. It is a problem we share with all roadside responders, and together we need to work toward a solution."
Kevin McGinnis, program advisor to the National Association of State EMS Officials (NASEMSO), said, "NASEMSO endorses the National Unified Goal and is working through NTIMC to improve overall coordination and communication among all responders at traffic incident scenes, so we can maximize the chances that our patients will survive crashes with minimal injuries. We also share concern about keeping roadways open, so our ambulances can respond swiftly to all types of medical emergencies."
Federal Highway (FHWA) Administrator J. Richard Capka underscored the importance of safe, quick crash clearance. "Traffic incidents account for about one-quarter of all congestion on U.S. roadways," he said. "For every minute that a freeway travel lane is blocked during a peak travel period, four minutes of travel delay results after the incident is cleared. More efficient traffic incident management will reduce congestion and protect travelers and responders."
The National Unified Goal was launched in November 2007 at the Montgomery County Public Safety Communications Center in Gaithersburg, MD.
"The National Unified Goal is responder safety; safe, quick clearance; and prompt, reliable incident communications," said NTIMC Chair John Corbin. "NTIMC developed the 'NUG,' as we call it, through a consensus-generation process that has taken about 18 months. The coalition is proud to have pulled together such a broad spectrum of national organizations representing the traffic incident responders."