RIMS is implemented on National Routes throughout the country and is a system which involves activities that take place at an accident. It is not exclusive to national routes as some provincial and metropolitan routes have also adopted the procedures and protocols of incident management
The emergency services as well as non emergency services and organizations that participate in the system meet biannually at Steering Committee level to update protocols and to ensure that the system is appropriately implemented.
RIMS is a living system and works well when services abide by the procedures and protocols to reduce the risks of secondary incidents and to clear the road safely and as quickly as possible. It is a known fact that incidents are not planned but our response to the incident and how we handle the incident can be pre-planned.
So what is Road Incident Management about?
Road Incident Management involves the clarification of roles and responsibilities and encourages teamwork and cooperation amongst all who respond to the incident. This is based on two fundamental principles; Centralised Communication and On-Scene Coordination. Just a brief explanation of the two principles would help you understand what is required of you when you respond to an incident.
1. Centralised Communication
All information about an incident is channelled through one communication centre-The Centralised Communication Centre (CCC).
This centre then notifies all services of the incident according to approved Response Protocols. These protocols are based on jurisdictional areas or municipal boundaries. There is only one centre that will be responsible for communication about the incident and during the incident, as this helps avoid duplication of call out or inappropriate services being notified and also an over response of services. It also helps coordinate communication from the scene.
The Centralised Communication Centre for any incident which occurs on the following route is:
N2 between Umdloti and Kingsburgh and on the N3from Durban to Cato Ridge
ETHEKWINI EMERGENCY SERVICES CCC
N3 from Cato Ridge to Mooi River Plaza
Mooi River Plaza to van Reenens
2. On-Scene Coordination
On-Scene Coordination involves coordinating activities on scene and encourages teamwork.
There are three steps to adhere to.
Step One: Setting up a Forward Control Point
The first person arriving on scene, assesses the incident, contacts the CCC with a situation report, declares incident management; places a cone on the vehicle roof. Take cognisance not to park in the immediate incident zone. If you were not the first responder, report here when you arrive on scene.
Step Two: Establishing a Management Team
One representative of each service arriving on scene becomes the communication representative for their service. They develop a plan of action for the clearing of the incident and ensuring their decisions and actions are coordinated and that they work as a team.
Step Three: Electing a Coordinator
The Coordinator is the person elected by the management team and coordinates decisions made by the team. All in keeping with Centralised Communication, the Coordinator is the only person on scene that speaks to the CCC to avoid duplicate requests from the scene.
The services follow a Guideline Plan for their system which has been developed with their help and conveys agreements/protocols/solutions to problems services are faced with on a daily basis. It also outlines alternative routes to follow and manpower required.
Communication is of vital importance to RIMS. Everyone is encouraged to follow the lines of communication and to abide by the procedures and protocols. The SANRAL should be commended for their efforts in facilitating the development, implementation and maintenance of the various RIMS's countrywide.
The Natal Towing Association is proud to be part of The Steering Committee and involved with the Road Incident Management System in KwaZulu-Natal.
Natal Towing Association,
MBA Exhibition Centre,
40 Essex Terrace,
Registered s21 Not for Gain 2003/002563/08