T3 Webinar Overview

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A Community Responds: A Multi-Agency Emergency Response to the I-35 Minneapolis Bridge Collapse

View Webinar: link to this webinar's archive materials

Originally presented under the title: Minneapolis I-35 Bridge Collapse — A Major Emergency Incident: TSAG Case Studies Workshop & Webinar

Date:   June 3, 2009
Time:  2:00 PM – 5:30 PM ET
Cost:  All T3 webinars are free of charge
PDH:  3.5   View PDH Policy

T3 Webinars are brought to you by the ITS Professional Capacity Building Program (ITS PCB) at the U.S. Department of Transportation's (USDOT) ITS Joint Program Office, Research and Innovative Technology Administration (RITA). Reference in this webinar to any specific commercial products, processes, or services, or the use of any trade, firm or corporation name is for the information and convenience of the public, and does not constitute endorsement, recommendation, or favoring by U.S. Department of Transportation.

Note: This workshop and webinar is a unique learning opportunity offered by the Transportation Safety Advancement Group (TSAG) and the U.S. DOT ITS Joint Program Office's Talking Technology & Transportation (T3) webinars. The T3 Program is offered by the Joint Program Office's ITS Professional Capacity Building Program. The workshop will be presented to both a live audience at the workshop location and to remote T3 webinar participants. T3 participants are invited to submit written questions before the webinar as well as during workshop question and answer periods.


The Transportation Safety Advancement Group (TSAG) is facilitated and administered by the Intelligent Transportation Society of America (ITS America) to provide input to the US Department of Transportation (US DOT), ITS Joint Program Office' Public Safety mission. TSAG advises the US DOT on the development and deployment ITS technologies that optimize travel mobility, safety / security, economy and environmental quality. Through its broad membership comprised of transportation and public safety professionals, TSAG initiates programs that promote inter-disciplinary, inter-agency and inter-jurisdictional coordination and cooperation, and that promote partnerships for advancing surface transportation services technologies. TSAG operates through resources provided by the US Department of Transportation and serves its program mission in compliance with US DOT regulations, policies and specified contract provisions.


Within a workshop setting, TSAG members and other public safety professionals review actual public safety related events or incidents for the purpose of identifying management strategies and technology-based applications and corresponding successes, failures, and lessons-learned. The June 3, 2009 Workshop will review the 2007 I-35 (MN) Bridge Collapse.

On August 1, 2007, the Interstate 35W Bridge collapsed into the Mississippi River during rush hour in the City of Minneapolis. The 1,907-foot bridge fell into the Mississippi River and onto roadways below. The span was packed with rush hour traffic, and dozens of vehicles fell with the bridge leaving scores of dazed commuters scrambling for their lives.

Case Studies Workshop presenters walk the audience through the tragic events of the day, focusing on 9-1-1 operations, Police, Fire, and EMS response, as well as the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) activation and management. Presenters will share lessons learned and highlight the performance of the Minneapolis 911 Center, of local emergency responders and of operations strategies and technologies at the time of and responding to the incident.

Target Audience

Workshop participants include TSAG members and guests. Webinar target audience includes other state and local public safety interests, including public safety managers and transportation operations, emergency communications, and emergency public safety practitioners.

TSAG Case Study Workshop Concept and Objectives

The TSAG Case Studies Workshop concept targets case-studies of actual incidents or events associated with each of the eight (8) TSAG interest-community teams. Communities of Interest include: Transportation Operations, Law Enforcement, Fire and Safety, Academic & Research, Technology and Telematics, Emergency Communications, Emergency Medical Services, and Emergency Management. Workshop objectives revolve around the "technologies for public safety" TSAG mission.

Through reviews of actual recent events, incidents, and first-responder experiences, Case Studies Workshops facilitate after-event discussions by multi-discipline and multi-agency professionals for the purpose of:

  • Clarifying actual circumstances of the event/incident
  • Discussing established response protocols and procedures
  • Reviewing public safety technology applications
  • Identifying unique management and response circumstances and challenges
  • Reviewing successes, failures, and lessons-leaned

Learning Objectives

The broad learning objectives of the TSAG Case Studies Workshop series include:

  • Identify transportation-safety technologies and their real-time applications to actual incident identification, response and management
  • Identify inter-agency and inter-discipline coordination successes and failures
  • Identify technology successes, failures, and lessons-learned


2:00 PM     Opening/Webinar Ground Rules (US DOT, Volpe Center)

2:10 PM     Welcome/Introduction of Moderator (Linda Dodge)

2:15 PM     Workshop/Overview/Objectives (Moderator, Ray Fisher)

2:30 PM  
A. I-35 Bridge — The Setting
B. Key Players/Key Interagency Coordination Protocols
C. Key Public Safety Technology Applications

3:30 PM     Q & A Session #1
D. The Event — Circumstances and Public Safety Actions

4:30 PM     Q & A Session #2
E. Successes, Failures & Lessons Learned

5:00 PM     Q & A Session #3
F. Open Discussion

5:30 PM
G. End/Closing Remarks


Linda Dodge, Chief of Staff, US DOT ITS Joint Program Office
Linda Dodge has overall 30 years in public safety (firefighter, paramedic, heavy rescue) in the field and administration. Linda's experience includes instructing at the Maryland Fire Rescue Institute (MFRI), University of MD; a director of a police and correctional officer academy, for the Maryland Dept. of Public Safety — Police and Corrections; 12 years as executive director Colorado Trauma Institute, Denver, CO and the last 10 years at the DOT ~6 of the10 years as regional program manager NHTSA Region 8, in Lakewood and 4 years ITS JPO, FHWA, in DC public safety program manager (NG 9-1-1, WE 9-1-1, Emergency Transportation Operations, etc.)


Heather Hunt, Operations Manager, Minneapolis 9-1-1
Heather Hunt began her public safety communications career in 1983 as a Minneapolis 9-1-1 Operator, continuing with Minneapolis 9-1-1 as a Police/Fire Dispatcher and Supervisor. Between 1990 and 2004 she managed two suburban Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP) centers in the Twin Cities Metro Area, returning to Minneapolis 9-1-1 in 2004 as its Operations Manager.

Heather is active with the Association of Public Communications Officials (APCO), is a certified Emergency Number Professional (ENP) and is the current President of the Minnesota Chapter of the National Emergency Number Association (NENA). In 2006, she earned her Master's Degree in Management and Organization Development from The College of St. Scholastica in Duluth, Minnesota.

Paul Linnee, Emergency Communications Strategies
Paul Linnée operates a private consulting practice, "Emergency Communications Strategies", specializing in interoperable two way radio systems applications. Following the I-35 Bridge collapse, Paul managed the study and preparation of the official State of Minnesota report on the performance of their major trunked radio system.

Paul is retired from 24 years of public service, the final 10 with the City of Minneapolis, during which he served as a police officer, fire fighter, public safety dispatcher and 9-1-1 PSAP manager. He is a three term past President of the Minnesota Chapter of the National Emergency Number Association (NENA) and is a designated Life Member of the Association of Public Communications Officials (APCO). He's served as Chair of the Minneapolis-St. Paul Metropolitan 9-1-1 Telephone Board's Ops Committee and has authored numerous articles on 9-1-1 and related emergency communications. Paul has worked extensively on mobile data and computing applications and their integration with GIS systems and was involved in planning and legislative efforts that culminated in the implementation of the Minneapolis-St. Paul Metro Radio Board and regional 800 MHz trunked radio system.


Raymond Fisher, Colorado State Patrol/TSAG Vice Chair
Captain Ray Fisher, of the Colorado State Patrol, has served as TSAG Vice Chair since 2008. Ray represents the Law Enforcement community and was nominated to TSAG by the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP). Ray joined the Colorado State Patrol in September 1991 and in 1996 was assigned to the Patrol's Research & Planning Unit. In November of 2004 Ray was promoted to the rank of Captain where he serves as Section Commander of the Patrol's Operational Development Section. Captain Fisher chairs the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) State and Provincial Police Planning Officers Section.