In April, traffic incident management professionals from Parsons delivered vehicle relocation training to SCDOT State Highway Emergency Program (SHEP) personnel in Greenville, Charleston and Columbia. A total of 39 new and senior SHEP Operators received instruction on how to effectively clear travels lanes by pushing, pulling, dragging and uprighting disabled or damaged vehicles.
SHEP Operators focused on estimating the weight of casualty vehicles and the different types of resistance they would encounter when attempting to relocate them. In addition, instructors worked on how to create a clear understanding of the capabilities of SHEP response trucks and the equipment each Operator must use to accomplish these tasks.
Each training session included classroom discussions of different real-world incident scenarios and how to determine whether an Operator could relocate a vehicle to a safer location. Operators learned how to determine the weight of the vehicle for passenger autos and commercial vehicles. Trainers covered how to upright a vehicle using a single lane with a single operator and one SHEP truck. The class also stressed the importance of scene safety and the efficient use of time to reduce responder exposure by performing relocation duties in a timely manner.
Operators also worked hands-on using a SHEP truck to push/pull casualty vehicles from various positions. Demonstration vehicles included a midsized pickup, small SUV and compact sports car, and Operators developed strategies based on the design of each vehicle. For example, the sports car’s low ground clearance provided challenges in securing chains and underside access. Lower centers of gravity are also challenging for uprighting maneuverers. Tactical decision making was stressed with the goal of planning for success and executing the plan.
There was outstanding participation in the classroom discussions as well as in the field for the hands-on display of skills. Senior SHEP Operators stepped up to help facilitate the field training, guiding others through the exercises and promoting teamwork throughout the groups.