State DOTs’ Transportation Security Training Needs
A Briefing Report for AASHTO’s
Transportation Security Task Force
Prepared by TransTech Management, Inc.
Table of Contents
1.0 INTRODUCTION 1
2.0 OVERVIEW OF SIGNIFICANT SURVEY FINDINGS 1
3.0 SURVEY METHODOLOGY 2
4.0 SECURITY TRAINING NEEDS SURVEY FINDINGS 3
4.1 Types of Security Training Offered by DOTs 3
4.2 How DOTs Deliver Security Training 4
4.3 State DOTs’ Security Training Needs 5
4.4 Federal Transportation Security Training for State DOTs 6
5.0 BEST PRACTICES 8
6.0 CONCLUSIONS AND NEXT STEPS 12
The recent terrorist attacks in the United States and the threat of additional terrorist activity have
forced government agencies to reassess their preparedness to protect American citizens and to
secure critical infrastructure. Due to the susceptibility of transportation modes to attack by
terrorists and their potential to be used as weapons of attack, transportation agencies must
recognize their vulnerabilities, keep their staff alert for suspicious activities, and be prepared to
respond to terrorism-related emergencies. For the most part these are new responsibilities for
transportation organizations; especially state departments of transportation (DOTs). Performing
these new roles successfully will require additional training for transportation agency
employees, but most DOTs currently lack understanding of what training is needed and the
capabilities to provide adequate training.
A wide-ranging survey of transportation security issues, carried out in November 2001 by the
American Association of State Highway Transportation Officials (AASHTO) Transportation
Security Task Force identified appropriate training as a gap in state transportation agencies’
enhanced security activities. In response, the Task Force created a subcommittee to address
state DOTs’ training needs in more detail.1 The subcommittee conducted a telephone and e-
mail survey of 28 AASHTO member DOTs to provide a more detailed perspective on:
• Current state and federal transportation security training practices,
• State DOTs’ security training needs, and
• Potential resources to help transportation agencies meet their security training needs.
TransTech Management assisted the subcommittee in preparing the survey and this report. The
report documents the findings from the survey and makes recommendations for n steps.
2.0 Overview of Significant Survey Findings
Following are key findings from the survey:
• About 70 percent of DOTs surveyed provide in-house security training to their
employees, but most of this training addresses 1) handling hazardous materials
situations and, or 2) emergency responses to disaster situations. All but eight
DOTs surveyed provide in-house hazardous materials and, or emergency response
training, but the training typically focuses on responses to major accidents and natural
disasters such as earthquakes or floods, and it is targeted only to DOTs’ maintenance
• A majority of DOTs surveyed (about 80 percent) have not made major changes to
their in-house training activities since September 11th to include broader security-
related training initiatives. About 70 percent of state DOTs surveyed are reassessing,
or have already reassessed their training needs. Shortages in funding, staff, or
expertise; however, have hindered the ability of most states’ DOTs to expand and
The subcommittee is led by Tom Hicks, Director of Office of Traffic and Safety, Maryland StateHighway
Administration; members include Gary Hoffman, Chief Engineer – Highway Administration, Pennsylvania
DOT; Vince Pearce, FHWA; and Terry Simmonds, Emergency Management Program Manager,
Washington State Department of Transportation
Security Training Report Draft 1 of 15 Aug 21 02
improve security training capabilities. Although most DOTs are reassessing their
security training, only about 20 percent have formally changed their training beyond
instructing employees to be more aware and vigilant.
• Most DOTs surveyed (about 60 percent) want federal input and support on how to
develop security-related training. Staff responsible for training in state DOTs are
looking to federal agencies to provide technical expertise in developing training
programs. State DOTs report that flexibility in mechanisms for delivering training that
allow states to design programs that fit their needs will be important. In particular, some
states are interested in “train the trainer” approaches as an effective way for federal and
state agencies to work together. Several states noted that they don’t have the funding or
staff to develop in-house training programs.
• A handful of state DOTs are developing or providing security training that is more
advanced than most DOTs. A group of states surveyed, including California, Georgia,
Oregon, Pennsylvania, Utah, and Washington (highlighted later in this report), offer
potential “best practices” resources in the area of state DOT security training. These
states are delivering training that goes beyond the standard fare of hazardous material
(HAZMAT) and emergency response programs found in most DOTs.
• A significant number of DOTs are using external resources to provide security
training, especially State Emergency Management Agencies (SEMA). At least 45
percent of the surveyed states are aware of SEMA training, and at least 55 percent use
this resource as an element of their security training. Some state DOTs also use federal
agency training such as Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) classes, as
well as university resources and transportation association programs.
3.0 Survey Methodology
In November 2001 an AASHTO survey of AASHTO member agencies found that 33 states (65
percent) did not have training resources available concerning transportation security. A short
follow-up survey of DOTs was developed and administered in Summer 2002 to provide
additional understanding of DOTs’ training needs. The survey was conducted in two phases:
Phase 1 - E-mail Survey. A two page survey was sent to all 52 AASHTO members’ training
coordinators. (A copy of the survey is included in Appendix A). Survey questions addressed:
• States’ current highway-related transportation security training resources, and
• States’ highway-related transportation security training needs.
Phase 2 - Phone Survey. To strengthen understanding of e-mail survey findings, follow-up
phone interviews were conducted with selected states, based on the same survey questions.
A total of 28 state DOTs responded to the e-mail or phone survey, helping to provide a
geographically dispersed snapshot of DOT security training throughout the country, as shown in
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Table One. Respondents to AASHTO Security Training Needs Survey
Northeast (Region 1) Southeast (Region 2)
Mississippi Valley (Region 3) West (Region 4)
Wisconsin New Mexico
In addition, the research team surveyed a number of federal agencies to determine what
training programs they offer to employees of state DOTs.
4.0 Security Training Needs Survey Findings
The results from the security training needs survey are grouped into four categories:
• Types of security training offered by DOTs
• How DOTs deliver security training
• State DOTs’ security training needs
• Federal highway transportation security training programs
4.1 Types of Security Training Offered by DOTs
In their responses to the survey, 20 out of 28 state DOTs, or 70 percent, indicated they provide
some combination of the following three major categories of security-related training: 1)
emergency response training, 2) HAZMAT training, and 3) terrorism awareness training.
Overall, however, the survey results suggest that most state DOTs continue to rely on existing
emergency response training (e.g., to natural disasters) and HAZMAT training as a stopgap
measure for meeting security training needs.
• Emergency Response Training – Emergency response training focuses on recovery
and restoration of operations after an emergency and a majority of this type of training
provided by DOTs deals with non terrorism-related emergency response issues, such as
earthquakes and hurricanes. About 65 percent of the states surveyed offer in-house
training on emergency preparedness or related issues such as Incident Command
System training and first responder actions. States have dealt with natural disasters in
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the past and there is a wealth of information in this area. As the terrorist attacks of
September 11th illustrated, however, a terrorist attack creates different response
scenarios for which current emergency response training may not be applicable and
there is concern among states that current training in this area is inadequate.
• HAZMAT Training – HAZMAT training includes how to identify hazardous materials in
DOT vehicles and how to control hazardous materials spills. About 40 percent of the
states surveyed provide hazardous material training. HAZMAT training may be beneficial
for employees who encounter some kind of biological or chemical attack, but states don’t
feel the training is sufficient for dealing with weapons of mass destruction or any other
• Terrorism Awareness Training – Terrorism awareness training deals with training
workers on how to be alert for suspicious incidents, people, packages, and vehicles and
how to protect key facilities and computer networks. Only about 10 percent of the
surveyed states are doing any terrorism awareness training. Better terrorism awareness
training remains a critical need for most DOTs.
State DOTs need to strengthen terrorism awareness training. State DOTs are weakest in
the area of terrorism awareness training, which includes threat assessment and risk
management training. Only about ten percent of DOTs currently provide this type of training.
4.2 How DOTs Deliver Security Training
State DOTs that completed the survey rely on a variety of internal and external resources to
deliver security training. Their preferred approach for delivering training is via in-house
programs that cover the entire spectrum of training delivery mechanisms, from classroom
presentations to video presentations, and even web-based self study programs (in New Mexico
Most DOTs rely primarily on in-house resources to provide security training. Most DOTs’
training is done in-house, but it is often closely coordinated with other state agencies, especially
the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA). The majority (80 percent) of training is
delivered in classroom settings that may encompass presentations, videos, and simulations.
SEMA training resources are the external security training resource most frequently used
by DOTs. About two-thirds of DOTs surveyed are aware of training offered by other state
agencies, and at least 45 percent of the states surveyed have used other state-level training
resources. Most frequently state DOTs rely on training provided by the SEMA. Typically this
training focuses on
• Hazardous Weather and Flooding Preparedness,
• Regional Hazard Mitigation Planning,
• Incident Command System (ICS),
• Hurricane Planning, and
• Disaster Recovery Operations.
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While SEMAs and other agencies offer training that is useful to DOTs, the training is seldom
transportation specific. The surveyed states also report a number of other organizations they
draw on for security training, including local and state law enforcement, universities, and public
Federal training resources are not widely used by DOTs – Few DOTs make use of federal
training resources available from federal agencies such as FHWA, FEMA, or the Federal Transit
Administration (FTA) and several DOTs reported in the survey that they are not aware of any
federal security training resources.
Non-governmental security training resources are not widely used by DOTs – Only six (20
percent) state DOTs surveyed mentioned that they use non-governmental training resources.
State universities or transportation associations typically provide non-governmental training that
can be accessed by DOTs. These training programs cover many subjects where DOTs are
looking for assistance, such as preparing and responding to terrorism, terrorism preparedness
for senior officials, and incident and emergency management strategies. Lack of knowledge
and funding at state DOTs appears to be a major barrier to greater use of non-governmental
Most DOT security training is targeted only to maintenance workers – Of the states that
provide security training, about 60 percent deliver it just to maintenance workers and/or their
immediate supervisors. This is based on the premise that maintenance workers are typically
first responders to emergency or HAZMAT incidents. A few states mentioned that innovative
technology-based training would be inappropriate for maintenance workers.
Consider federal/state development of “train the trainer” programs – A “train the trainer”
initiative would allow states and federal agencies to share expertise efficiently, while allowing
states to retain flexibility to design training programs that meet their needs. A few states noted
that any new training should extend to DOT managers, yet a focus on first responders is still
4.3 State DOTs’ Security Training Needs
Most of the security-related training that state DOTs offer was in place before September 11th
and addresses natural disaster emergency response or hazardous materials issues. In the
survey, DOTs were asked to identify the areas where they need new or better training including:
• Vulnerability assessment – Methodologies for identifying critical infrastructure, equipment,
and systems including evaluation of the consequences of facility loss, techniques for data
collection, and retrieval of relevant records, etc.
• Strengthening security – Reporting suspicious activities, surveillance of key facilities,
protecting computer networks/data, DOT buildings and human resources, legal issues, etc.
• Pre- and post- event emergency response planning – Traffic management and operations,
inter-agency coordination, hardening targets, quick-turnaround repairs, recovery and
restoration of normal operations.
• Media and public information – Controlling information flow, protecting secure information,
alerting the public, etc.
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A majority of state DOTs are concerned about overall security training sufficiency –About
65 percent of state DOTs surveyed think their current level of training is insufficient and that
they need to provide their staff with additional and more diverse transportation security-related
Many state DOTs are in the process of, or have recently conducted a self assessment of
training needs – About 70 percent of states have reassessed or are currently reassessing their
security training since the terrorist attacks. A few states are also forming councils or taskforces,
some with members from universities and the private sector, to assess current training and
needs. However, a majority of DOT reassessment consists of preliminary steps toward
increasing vigilance and awareness. While about 20% of the states surveyed are developing
terrorism models, increasing biological and chemical response capacities, etc., most of the
states that are reassessing their training needs have not formally changed the way they train
State DOTs biggest training need is terrorism awareness – State DOTs surveyed have
varying opinions about what additional security training they need, but a majority (about 70
percent) identified that stronger terrorism awareness and/or tailored pre- and post- terrorism
event emergency response planning are their most critical needs. A number of states also
identified a need for weapons of mass destruction (WMD) training. Several states said they
would welcome any type of terrorism training available, because they have little knowledge on
where to begin.
4.4 Federal Transportation Security Training for State DOTs
A limited set of phone interviews with federal agencies was conducted as a companion piece to
the state DOT survey to provide an overview of federal agencies’ training resources. The
following are training programs mentioned during federal agency interviews or by DOTs that use
FHWA, Emergency Preparedness Workshops – The Federal Highway Administration
(FHWA) is conducting ten, two-day workshops around the country consisting of a case study
analysis and a terrorism exercise. The case study is based on the 9/11 events in New York
City. The terrorism exercise is a 12-hour tabletop exercise specifically tailored to the area the
training is being given. The audience is by invite only and usually includes about 75 people.
FHWA, Military Power Platforms – The Military Power Platforms are 17 tabletop exercises
held throughout 2002 by FHWA for military personnel. They focus on military deployment
during a disaster. In addition, military personnel will be trained on how to deal with civilians
during such an incident. State DOTs are currently not privy to this training.
FHWA, Vulnerability Assessment Workshops – The FHWA Office of Bridge Technology is
sponsoring four Workshops on Vulnerability Assessment. The AASHTO Vulnerability
Assessment Guide will be used as the basis for this training. FHWA will develop and provide
the training to staff, who will then provide it to appropriate state and local transportation officials.
FHWA, Internal Staff Training – FHWA is developing a “mini-briefing” security training
package for FHWA personnel. Topics identified for this training include:
• Federal response plan
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• Continuity of operations
• Incident command system
• Unified command system
• Homeland security advisory system
Although this training is still in the developmental stage, FHWA is willing to share the final
products with interested states.
AASHTO, Guide to Highway Vulnerability Assessment – AASHTO funded the development
of a Guide to Highway Vulnerability Assessment. Much of the information in the report is a
direct result of dialogue with state DOTs and is intended to assist these agencies in vulnerability
assessments. The Guide is available on the AASHTO website ( www.aashto.org) for DOT use.
It is unclear how many states have used this resource but it rarely arose in DOT survey
AASHTO, Guide to Updating Highway Emergency Response Plans for Terrorist Incidents
– AASHTO funded the development of the Guide to Updating Highway Emergency Response
Plans for Terrorist Incidents. The guide focuses on providing DOTs a blueprint to updating
emergency response plans given the development of weapons of mass destruction terrorist
threats. The Guide is available on the AASHTO website for DOT use. It is unclear how many
states have used this resource but it rarely arose in DOT survey responses.
National Highway Institute (NHI), Incident Management Course. NHI offers an incident
management course aimed at resolving traffic incidents and other roadway emergencies in a
safe and efficient manner. Course participants will be able to identify the various institutional
and technical aspects of traffic incident management as well as develop “next step” tools for
their respective agencies. The course is geared towards mid or upper-level managers who
direct the resources of their agencies at the scene of a traffic incident or in response to an
National Transit Institute/FTA, System Security Awareness for Transit Employees– The
National Transit Institute (NTI) offers a multi-level training program for transit agencies. System
Security Awareness for Transit Employees is designed for front-line employees and their
immediate supervisors and teaches staff how to recognize suspicious entities, observe and
report relevant information, and minimize harm to themselves and others. Security Incident
Management for Transit Supervisors is designed for front-line supervisors to assess their skills
and their responsibilities during a security incident. NTI’s program is designed for transit
employees but elements of the initiative are applicable for all transportation modes. Washington
DOT is already planning on delivering both courses to its highway employees.
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), US Trucks and Terrorism – Rapid
Risk Recognition, Assessment, and Response – FMCSA’s Trucks and Terrorism program is
an effort to protect the public from terrorists using commercial motor vehicles as weapons or
targets. Trucks and Terrorism is a eight-hour seminar that emphasizes identifying and
interdicting a “threat” before an incident or a suspect truck enters a workplace or community.
Attendees are introduced to techniques that enable a “totality of circumstance” assessment of
everyday terrorism scenarios.
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FTA, "Connecting Communities: Emergency Preparedness and Security Regional
Forums." –The forums are designed to help small to mid-size transit agencies prepare for
emergencies and are targeted to the following groups:
• Transit agency management and personnel
• Police and fire personnel responsible for emergency management coordination
• Emergency medical services and hospital disaster relief coordinators
• State and local government emergency management coordinators
FTA held its first forum in May 2002 in Orlando, Florida and will be offering the course in 16
additional cities at no charge to the participants.
FEMA’s Emergency Management Institute (EMI) – In addition to supporting SEMA training
courses, FEMA also offers the following classes at EMI:
• Terrorism Planning Course
• Community Emergency Response (CERT) Train-the-Trainer Course
• Radiological Emergency Response Operations Course
• Advanced Radiation Incident Operations Course
• Radiological Series Train-the-Trainer
• Integrated Emergency Management Course (IEMC): Consequences of Terrorism
FEMA’s “Consequences of Terrorism” course is among the agency’s most relevant classes for
meeting DOTs’ training needs. The course focuses on preparing for and responding to the
consequences of a terrorist event and is delivered by placing participants in a disaster
simulation. This program stresses the following objectives:
• Analyze emergency policies, plans and procedures as related to a terrorist event,
• Identify additional planning and preparation requirements to minimize community
• Clarify roles and responsibilities,
• Improve teamwork and coordination between responding agencies, and
• Enhance response and recovery capability to minimize the effects of the terrorist act
5.0 Best Practices
Several of the state DOTs surveyed have developed innovative transportation security training
programs that stand out as examples of best practices in the field. These DOTs are leading the
way in creating “post-September 11” security training programs to prevent and respond to
terrorism and security incidents. The states highlighted in this section present a snapshot of the
most innovative DOTs among the 28 states surveyed.
CalTrans is unique among DOTs surveyed in the way it delivers security training. Most DOTs
that participated in the survey either conduct training in-house or work with State Emergency
Management Agencies. These programs are typically emergency response efforts that were in
place before September 11th. Caltrans has created a model that extends beyond normal
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training and is working towards an approach that covers all areas of transportation security and
integrates several delivery mechanisms. Caltrans provides three types of training:
1. Employee awareness,
2. Emergency response, and
3. Hazardous materials training.
While portions of this training are delivered in-house, the DOT also works with a private security
firm, the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services, and the California State Training Institute.
In addition, Caltrans has an internal training division that it uses to supply training to other state
agencies and private industry. It supplies this training through several different mechanisms,
including presentations, simulations, videos, and print media and delivers it to all maintenance
and management staff. Very few other DOTs use as many delivery mechanisms or include
Caltrans is one of the few DOTs that is satisfied with the amount and type of training it has
available. Unlike other DOTs surveyed, Caltrans not only uses other agencies’ training, b has
reached a level of development that allows it to contract training out to other agencies. Caltrans
is the only DOT surveyed that mentioned this aspect of its security training. Caltrans is clearly
doing more with less and is attempting to share its knowledge with other state agencies for
Georgia DOT has reassessed its security training after the September 11th attacks by increasing
employee awareness and vigilance. It has worked with staff, especially field staff, to push
heightened awareness while performing normal staff duties. GDOT has also joined a homeland
security taskforce created by the state’s Emergency Management Agency. GDOT is working
with departments of law enforcement, defense, and health in this effort. T taskforce has
committees that are developing training, most notably its Strategic Anti-Terrorism Training,
which is still in draft stage.
Georgia is one of the few states surveyed that has created a security taskforce in tandem with
other state agencies. This partnering opportunity is one way DOTs can avoid the costs and
staff constraints imposed by creating new security training. Georgia’s homeland security
taskforce provides training through several different mechanisms including classes, hands-on
simulation exercises, and quick responder training. Most of this training is targeted to first
responders with additional training provided to other workers in a larger setting.
As mentioned in other sections of this report, SEMAs are a resource that many state DOTs are
using for security training delivery. GDOT is using GEMA and other state agencies to create an
anti-terrorism training product that can be used statewide. This is an important example of how
DOTs can use relationships with other agencies to leverage state resources for effective
ODOT provides some of the most comprehensive security training among the states surveyed.
It delivers training via classroom setting, video, and simulated exercises and administers it to
both maintenance workers and executive management based on training content. In addition,
ODOT’s program covers the breadth of training scope, from maintenance awareness to
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emergency response. It is also creating an initiative that will help prepare it for an array of
potential attacks. Oregon DOT provides in-house training in the following areas:
• First Responder Awareness and Operations
• Incident Command System for Public Works
• Emergency Bridge Inspection
• ODOT Emergency Operations Plan
• Emergency Response Tabletop Exercise
ODOT is developing a terrorism awareness training module for its highway maintenance
workers called B-NICE (Biological, Nuclear, Incendiary, Chemical, Explosive). The training will
describe characteristics of each category and will teach workers how to recognize hazards in
these five areas. The program also includes some additional information about preserving
crime scenes, being aware of potential secondary devices, etc.
Oregon is one of the most innovative DOTs surveyed in terms of its security training. It has
accomplished a program that combines several delivery mechanisms, audience levels, and
training areas. ODOT not only works with the Oregon Emergency Management Agency but
also FEMA and state DOTs in Washington and Idaho. It is working with federal, interstate, and
intrastate agencies to develop the most comprehensive security training available. ODOT’s B-
NICE program is one of two such programs found among the states surveyed (Kentucky’s
Division of Emergency Management has a similar program) and is a model for identifying and
containing a diverse range of mass destruction weapons.
PENNDOT’s security training is notable because it is delivered in a Train-the-Trainer format
identified by several states as the most effective way to merge federal and state training
resources. PENNDOT has developed a Facilities Emergency Operations Guide that will be
used in Train the Trainer sessions conducted by DOT personnel. These individuals will in turn
go back to their geographic areas and train district staff on use of the Guide and what actions
need to be taken to comply with its requirements.
A Train the Trainer program is a format that can be used to create flexible training for state
DOTs. The varying extent and nature of DOT training lends itself to a model that can be
recreated for each individual DOT’s needs. PENNDOT is the only DOT surveyed that
mentioned a Train the Trainer technique as a component of its security training program.
PENNDOT also participates in security training delivered by other state and federal agencies,
including the Pennsylvania State Police, the State Fire Academy, the Pennsylvania Emergency
Management Agency, and FEMA.
Utah presents a strong case as the DOT with the most relevant secu training progress. Utah
hosted the 2002 Winter Olympics and was successful in maintaining a secure Olympic setting.
The Olympic games were considered by many experts as a prime target for attack after
September 11, making it especially important for preventative, effective security training for
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UDOT provided security training for all transportation employees involved in the 2002 Winter
Olympics. The training covered all aspects of security and response issues and was based
upon needs identified in a comprehensive threat assessment conducted by outside consultants.
UDOT surely has developed innovative techniques for emergency response and terrorism
awareness beyond what was asked in the survey questionnaire. Establishment of a nationwide
information sharing/best practices network would allow UDOT to educate other DOTs on how to
best prepare and respond to a terrorist attack.
UDOT has also received training from external sources, including departments of public safety,
homeland security, emergency management, law enforcement, the FBI, and FTA.
Virginia DOT (VDOT) has developed a two-part security training program that provides
guidance on effective emergency response approaches that incorporate and adapt national
Anti-Terrorism Training – VDOT has created and delivered an anti-terrorism training program
crafting FEMA course components into a delivery approach most useful for DOT employees.
The program is delivered in a classroom setting and focuses on a “Stop, Look, and Listen”
awareness design. All new VDOT employees will take the class, which began in August 2002.
Employees are taught how to be aware of all threats, specifically those most common to VDOT
(anthrax and bomb threats). In addition, workers learn where to report information for each type
The anti-terrorism training can be provided in a facilitator-led classroom setting or using a self-
starting CD. The classroom approach is the preferred method and is accompanied by a
interactive presentation program called Vox Proxy. This application is a Microsoft PowerPoint
additive that creates animated characters that can talk and respond to voice commands.
Anti-Terrorism Kit – VDOT is planning to schedule videoconferences with DOT supervisors so
that they can train their staff in anti-terrorism techniques. All supervisors that participate in the
videoconference will receive a training kit, which can then be distributed to all employees within
the supervisor’s district. The kit consists of several visual reminders such as flashcards,
certificate templates, and posters that can be used a reference for terrorism awareness.
Washington DOT continues the trend of progressive western states in its security training
delivery. WSDOT provides the standard HAZMAT and emergency response training that is
found among almost all state DOTs, but has also developed measures that go beyond normal
awareness and response.
WSDOT has developed an Employee Disaster Response Plan that covers all aspects of
disaster response and assigns specific roles to DOT teams during an emergency. The following
are the WSDOT teams and their respective responsibilities:
Employee Evacuation Team Responsible for getting people out of the
building safely and as quickly as possible.
Also responsible for employee accountability.
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Traffic Control Team Responsible for the safety of employees once
they leave the building and getting them to the
staging area. Also responsible for providing
helicopter landing security.
Staging Team Responsible for shelter and feeding of
Building Evaluation Team Responsible for the structural safety of
Light Urban SAR Team Responsible for searching for and rescuing
trapped or injured employees
Medical Team Responsible for taking care of the injured and
This team approach is effective because it ensures that every category of emergency response
has a group of individuals that can be relied upon. It also helps to manage the chaos and panic
resulting from an alarming emergency. People in WSDOT know who to look for when a disaster
occurs and feel confident that they will be taken care of.
WSDOT also has a training program called the Self and Family Preparedness Class that
extends beyond staff safety in an effort to reach employees’ families. The class is designed for
employees and their families to take action before a disaster so that employees can remain at
work when a disaster strikes. The course allows employees to feel secure about their families
and ensures they will focus on their own safety. WSDOT has developed a PowerPoint
presentation and booklet to support the class and offers it to all employees. This is the only
such program mentioned among the states surveyed.
In addition to the programs discussed above, WSDOT is in the process of planning the delivery
of two new courses for all employees and managers. One course is an awareness training
program that is aimed at increasing recognition of surroundings for all employees who travel on
infrastructure that WSDOT has responsibility over. The other course is intended for low, middle,
and senior level managers and will address front-line supervisors’ responsibilities in information
gathering and analysis, hazard and risk identification, and decision-making.
6.0 Conclusions and Next Steps
The AASHTO Task Force review of state DOT training needs confirms the results of the
November 2001 state DOT security survey that security training is an issue of concern to DOTs.
The review suggests that many DOTs are concerned about the overall adequacy of security
training that they provide and seek to improve their training capabilities, but that they lack
expertise in this area. As a result, while most are conducting, or have completed assessments
of training needs, few have made significant changes to their training programs.
Current security-related training in DOTs remains focused on maintenance workers only, and is
related to “first responder issues” regarding emergency response to natural disasters and
hazardous materials incidents.
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Terrorism awareness training is a critical weakness among DOTs, and a “train-the-trainer” type
resource in this area that would provide DOTs with access to expertise while giving them
flexibility to develop training programs that meet their needs.
Several states are leading the way in providing advanced security training, and all state DOTs
could benefit from increased sharing of information about best practices in security training.
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State DOT Highway-Related Transportation Security Training Resources and Needs
Two-Part Interview Guide
Part 1. States’ Current Highway-Related Transportation Security Training Resources
Purpose of this element of the interview is to gather information about 1) the extent of training
states already have in place, 2) model approaches that merit wider distribution via AASHTO
etc., and 3) the extent of a training “gap,” as perceived by states.
1. Does your agency offer training to employees on highway transportation security, emergency
preparedness or related issues, either internally or externally (through other state or federal
Yes – Go to Question 2.
No – Go to Question 6.
2. Describe the highway transportation security, emergency preparedness, or other training
resources for which your agency is the primary provider. For each item, if possible, specify
• Training topic (E.g. Building security, emergency response, haz. mat. response, etc.)
• Delivery mechanism (E.g. Presentation, simulation exercise, class, video, print, etc.)
• Audience (E.g. Maintenance workers, districts, safety personnel, etc.)
3. Can you provide copies of relevant print, video or electronic materials used for training
4. What other state-level training resources on highway-related transportation security or
emergency preparedness issues are accessible to DOT employees? (E.g. training provided by
State Emergency Management offices, Haz Mat training, etc.)
5. What federal-level training resources on highway-related transportation security or
emergency preparedness issues are accessible to DOT employees? (E.g. training provided by
State Emergency Management offices, Haz Mat training, etc.)
6. How would you characterize the adequacy of the range of training resources available in your
state on highway transportation security or emergency preparedness issues?
• About right amount/type of training available.
• More/different training is needed.
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Part 2. States’ Highway-Related Transportation Security Training Needs
Purpose of this element of the interview is to gather information about 1) additional training
sought by states, 2) who should provide training, and 3) what methods of training are most
1. Have you reassessed, or are you reassessing, your agency’s highway-related transportation
security training needs in response to recent terrorist events, and if so, what changes are being
2. In your opinion, what are the areas where new training resources on highway-related
transportation security or emergency preparedness need to be developed? (For each of the
major areas below, please identify specific examples. However, do not necessarily limit your
responses to those areas listed below.)
• Vulnerability assessment – Methodologies for identifying critical infrastructure,
equipment, and systems including evaluation of the consequences of facility loss;
techniques for data collection, and retrieval of relevant records; etc.
• Strengthening security – Reporting suspicious activities, surveillance of key facilities,
protecting computer networks/data, DOT buildings and human resources, legal issues,
• Pre- and post- event emergency response planning – Traffic management and
operations, inter-agency coordination, hardening targets, quick-turnaround repairs,
recovery and restoration of normal operations.
• Media and public information – Controlling information flow, protecting secure
information, alerting the public, etc.
3. For training needs identified above, who should be responsible for providing training?
(state/federal, DOTs/other agencies, emergency management agencies, law enforcement
agencies, universities, private sector, other)
4. Training will be tailored to the appropriate audiences, using a range of formats, including
videos, computers, simulations, classes, print, and others. Do you have any comments on which
are most effective type/approach/structure for your operations?
Security Training Report Draft 15 of 15 Aug 21 02