The purpose of the project was to (1) re-evaluate the effectiveness, appropriateness, and format of the Incident Response Guide currently used in the Northwest Region, and (2) provide the Northwest, Olympic, Southwest, and Eastern Regions with electronic versions of an Incident Response Guide for them to complete with their own information and keep updated.
In-depth interviews were conducted with the Northwest Region's Incident Response Team (IRT) personnel, who are currently utilizing the Incident Response Guide.
An evaluation of the Northwest Region's Incident Response Guide indicated the following. (1) The effectiveness of the original Incident Response Guide, Field Reference, was minimal for field response personnel at the scene of an incident; training and experience proved more useful than documentation. (2) The original Incident Response Guide, Office Reference, proved more effective and appropriate as a reference for administrative and new IRT personnel. (3) The format and organization of the original Incident Response Guide were inappropriate for use by administrators and new personnel. (4) As the IRT program has evolved, a number of procedures, resources, and contacts have changed; the electronic format of the updated Incident Response Guide will help facilitate these updates.
The modification of the Northwest Region's Incident Response Guide for use in other WSDOT regions proved to be a simple step in ensuring consistency in incident response programs statewide for the following reasons: (1) Much of the required background information and recommended IRT procedures are the same statewide. (2) The impetus for developing a formal outline of incident response procedures, equipment, and resources is minimized when all the requirements are specified in a fill-in-the-blank format.