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Safety Recommendation Details

Safety Recommendation H-09-004
Details
Synopsis: On January 6, 2008, about 3:15 p.m. mountain standard time, a 2007 Motor Coach Industries 56-passenger motorcoach with a driver and 52 passengers on board departed Telluride, Colorado, en route to Phoenix, Arizona, as part of a 17-motorcoach charter. The motorcoach passengers were returning from a 3-day ski trip. The normal route from Telluride to Phoenix along Colorado State Route 145 was closed due to snow, and the lead driver planned an alternate route that included U.S. Route 163/191 through Utah. About 8:02 p.m., the motorcoach was traveling southbound, descending a 5.6-percent grade leading to a curve to the left, 1,800 feet north of milepost 29 on U.S. Route 163. The weather was cloudy, and the roadway was dry at the time of the accident. After entering the curve, the motorcoach departed the right side of the roadway at a shallow angle, striking the guardrail with the right-rear wheel and lower coach body about 61 feet before the end of the guardrail. The motorcoach traveled approximately 350 feet along the foreslope (portion of roadside sloping away from the roadway), with the right tires off the roadway. The back tires lost traction as the foreslope transitioned into the drainage ditch.
Recommendation: TO THE FEDERAL INTERAGENCY COMMITTEE ON EMERGENCY MEDICAL SERVICES: Develop a plan that can be used by the States and public safety answering points to pursue funding for enhancements of wireless communications coverage that can facilitate prompt accident notification and emergency response along highrisk rural roads, as identified under SAFETEA-LU criteria, and along rural roads having substantial large bus traffic (as defined by the criteria established in Safety Recommendation H-09-7). (H-09-4)
Original recommendation transmittal letter: PDF
Overall Status: Closed - Acceptable Action
Mode: Highway
Location: Mexican Hat, UT, United States
Is Reiterated: No
Is Hazmat: No
Is NPRM: No
Accident #: HWY08MH012
Accident Reports: Motorcoach Rollover
Report #: HAR-09-01
Accident Date: 1/6/2008
Issue Date: 5/29/2009
Date Closed: 9/18/2013
Addressee(s) and Addressee Status: Federal Interagency Committee on Emergency Medical Services (Closed - Acceptable Action)
Keyword(s):

Safety Recommendation History
From: NTSB
To: Federal Interagency Committee on Emergency Medical Services
Date: 9/18/2013
Response: We commend FICEMS for its collaboration in (1) developing a guidance document to assist the states in performing needs assessments and gap analyses for emergency communications, (2) providing information on available communication devices and lists of agencies that offer funding or could serve as collaborators, and (3) performing ongoing research and developing further guidance for the states regarding emergency communication advances. These actions satisfy Safety Recommendation H-09-4, which is classified CLOSED—ACCEPTABLE ACTION.

From: Federal Interagency Committee on Emergency Medical Services
To: NTSB
Date: 7/30/2013
Response: -From Edward J. Gabriel, MPA, EMT-P, CEM, CBCP, Chair, Federal Interagency Committee on Emergency Medical Services, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: Federal staff supporting the FICEMS met with NTSB staff and discussed the original safety recommendation, the initial FICEMS response submitted to NTSB in February of2011, the NTSB's request for additional work, and the issues surrounding funding emergency communications in rural and remote areas. Based on that discussion, FICEMS is providing the following additional information to NTSB as clarification and to ensure all possible actions have been taken to implement recommendation H-09-4. Background - Components of the Emergency Communications System The emergency communications system is comprised of three distinct components that form one seamless system. The three components, as depicted below include caller access, 911, and emergency responders. All components must function together to meet the needs of the 911 caller. While all three components function as a single system, each component is the responsibility of distinct and separate entities at the state and local level. • Caller access is provided by telecommunications service providers, such as Verizon and AT&T. These private companies are responsible for providing both the devices and the network that transmit 911 calls from the caller to the 911 Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP). While some requirements for delivering 911 calls are established by the Federal Communications Commission, local and statewide telephone service is regulated at the state and local levels by utilities commissions. • 911 service is provided by approximately 6,000 PSAPs nationwide, and their operation is the responsibility of state and local governments whose constituents they serve. State and local governments are responsible for the infrastructure, operation and personnel within the PSAP. • Emergency responder communication service is provided by the state and/or local government agency responsible for providing emergency response (law enforcement, fire rescue or emergency medical services). State and local government is responsible for providing the devices and the network transmitting communication between PSAP dispatchers and emergency responders. Each specific entity is financially responsible for their respective portion of the emergency communication system. PSAPs and the state and local agencies that operate them do not have the authority to pursue funding for enhancements of wireless communications coverage. Such activities generally are within the purview of the state utilities commissions or comparable state entities. Pursuing funding for enhancements of wireless coverage is beyond the jurisdiction ofPSAPs and it is beyond the purview of FICEMS to make recommendations or provide sample projects or case studies for PSAPs to pursue such funding. It is our understanding that the telecommunications service providers, working with utilities commissions, must have a reasonable expectation of recouping costs for the installation and continued operation of networks to provide service. Especially in rural and remote areas as found in Mexican Hat, low population does not result in a sufficient subscriber base to provide adequate financial support for the installation and continued operation of telecommunications services. However, as alternatives to the PSAPs pursuing funding for enhancements of wireless communications coverage, FICEMS has previously proposed (February 2011 ) several strategies that could be used by the appropriate state or local government agency, to enhance emergency communications coverage. Potential funding sources included: • Federal Highway Administration: Field Offices, • U.S. Department of Agriculture - Rural Development Program (USDA RUS), • Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and • Motor Carrier Safety Assistance Program (MCSAP). 911 Funding Funding for the operation of most local and state 91 1 systems has been provided by subscriber fees on telephone landline and wireless telephone services. Today, in compliance with state and/or local statute, 911 fees are typically collected monthly by telephone and wireless carriers and are remitted to the appropriate state/local 911 entities. With the continued evolution of the public's communication devices to digital, broadband-based technologies, additional communication devices (other than telephones) could be used to reach 911 and provide useful data (i.e., text messages, photos, video). Useful, actionable data could be transmitted to 911 and on to emergency responders- provided the 911 infrastructure is updated to receive digital data via Internet-based technologies – an infrastructure commonly referred to as Next Generation (NG) 911. As the public migrates to newer communication technology, 911 funding has become unstable, just as state and local governments are poised to build updated 911 infrastructure. The National 911 Program, in coordination with 911 stakeholders, seeks to ensure a smooth, reliable and cost-effective transition to a nationwide NG911 system. The program seeks to coordinate the efforts of stakeholders, gather and share useful information on a variety of91 1-related topics and administer a grant program specifically for the benefit of PSAPs. The NTSB report mentioned state 911 funding and the National 911 Program as potential sources of funding to enhance 911 systems. In discussing these 911 funding options with NTSB staff, FICEMS agreed to provide the following additional information on the activities of the National 911 Program related to funding: 911 Grant Program. In September 2009, the U.S. Department of Transportation's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the U.S. Department of Commerce's National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) received a one-time appropriation and awarded more than $40 million in grants to help 911 centers nationwide implement NG91 1 technologies, and enabling other features that could improve emergency response or enhance safety. The final report on this grant program has been completed and is included as an attachment. Funding white paper. This document examines a number of issues related to 911 funding and presents current funding issues, funding needs, current and possible future fee structures, and current and potential future funding sources. The intent is to identify areas needing further assessment and analysis. The final white paper has been completed and is included as an attachment. Blue Ribbon Panel on 911 Funding. In response to a recommendation made by an advisory body to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), the National 911 Program, housed within the NHTSA Office of Emergency Medical Services (OEMS) funded a project which procured the services of a contractor to provide specific expertise in economics, and apply that expertise to develop options for funding and oversight models of 91 1 systems that could be applied at local, and/or state levels of government. In addition to using its economic expertise, the contractor will utilize general stakeholder input from a Blue Ribbon Panel to help inform its analysis. The final deliverable of this project will be a report containing options for local, state and national 911 funding and oversight models, based on appropriate economic theories and principles. The final report is expected by March of 2014. We appreciate the NTSB's recognition of the essential role of our Nation's 9-1-1 and EMS systems in reducing motor vehicle morbidity and mortality and the opportunity to respond to this recommendation. The FICEMS requests that recommendation H-09-4 receive a "Closed -Acceptable Action" rating. If you have any questions or need additional information, please direct them to Drew Dawson, Chair of the FICEMS Technical Working Group.

From: NTSB
To: Federal Interagency Committee on Emergency Medical Services
Date: 1/12/2012
Response: Correspondence control # 201100317, dated January 12, 2012: The NTSB notes that FICEMS has developed a guidance document to assist the states in performing needs assessments and gap analyses for emergency communications and to provide information on available communication devices and lists of agencies that offer funding or could serve as collaborators. Although this document affords a wealth of communication information for states, it does not meet the intent of this recommendation, which asked FICEMS to develop a plan for the pursuit of funding. The NTSB encourages FICEMS to continue its good work by including a section of sample projects and/or case studies in this document to indicate possible directions states could take to pursue funding for enhancements of wireless communications coverage. Pending completion of the recommended actions, Safety Recommendation H-09-4 is classified OPEN—ACCEPTABLE RESPONSE.

From: Federal Interagency Committee on Emergency Medical Services
To: NTSB
Date: 8/9/2011
Response: CC# 201100317: - From Alexander G. Garza, MD, MPH, Chair, Federal Interagency Committee on EMS and Assistant Secretary for Health Affairs and Chief Medical Officer, U.S. Department of Homeland Security: I am pleased to submit the enclosed report describing the excellent progress that FICEMS has made in addressing recommendation H-09-S - Mexican Hat Bus Crash, This response is based on the strategy we provided to you on August 4, 2010. We appreciate the NTSB's recognition of the essential role of our Nation's 9-1-1 and EMS systems in reducing motor vehicle morbidity and mortality and the opportunity to respond to this recommendation. The FICEMS requests that recommendation H-09-5 receive an "Open - Acceptable Action" rating.

From: Federal Interagency Committee on Emergency Medical Services
To: NTSB
Date: 2/17/2011
Response: CC# 201100123: - Alexander G. Garza, MD, MPH, Chair, Federal Interagency Committee on EMS, Assistant Secretary for Health Affairs and Chief Medical Officer, US Department of Homeland Security: Thank you for providing the Federal Interagency Committee on Emergency Medical Services (FICEMS) the opportunity to address the National Transportation Safety Board recommendation, H-09-04, regarding the Mexican Hat, Utah Motorcoach Crash which occurred January 6,2008. FICEMS recognizes the essential role of our nation's 9-1-1 and Emergency Medical Services systems in reducing motor vehicle morbidity and mortality. We are pleased to provide the enclosed FICEMS approved plan which provides potential technical options, possible funding sources, and other suggested resources to help improve notification of the emergency response system along high risk rural roads and rural roads having substantial large bus traffic. We request that recommendation H-09-04 receive a "Closed-Exceeds Recommended Action" rating. FICEMS appreciates the opportunity to respond to this recommendation. If you have any additional questions and or comments, please direct them to Drew Dawson, Chair of the FICEMS Technical Working Group at 202-366-9966 or Drew.Dawson@dot.gov.

From: NTSB
To: Federal Interagency Committee on Emergency Medical Services
Date: 12/29/2010
Response: The NTSB is encouraged that FICEMS continues to work on implementing the committee-approved strategies for addressing these recommendations. The NTSB notes that NHTSA has entered into a contract with Booz Allen Hamilton to provide technical support in developing a plan to enhance accident notification and emergency response along high-risk rural roads and cooperative agreements with the Institute of Medicine and the National Association of State EMS Officials to evaluate EMS system response and response to rural mass casualty incidents through deliberation sessions at public forums. FICEMS continues to monitor these efforts. The NTSB would appreciate receiving periodic updates on these efforts as they continue. Pending receipt of this information and completion of the recommended actions, Safety Recommendations H-09-4 and -5 are classified OPEN—ACCEPTABLE RESPONSE.

From: Federal Interagency Committee on Emergency Medical Services
To: NTSB
Date: 8/4/2010
Response: MC# 2100277 - From David L. Strickland, Chair of the Federal Interagency Committee on Emergency Medical Services, Administrator of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration: As Chairman of the Federal Interagency Committee on Emergency Medical Services (FICEMS), I am pleased to submit this brief report describing the progress that FICEMS has made in addressing the National Transportation Safety Board's (NTSB) recommendations H-09-4 and H-09-5 relating to the Mexican Hat bus crash. We appreciate the NTSB' s recognition of the essential role of our Nation's 9-1-1 and EMS systems in reducing motor vehicle morbidity and mortality and are working diligently to address the NTSB's recommendations. In March, I sent you a letter outlining the FICEMS' strategies to address these two important recommendations. Since then we have continued to make excellent progress. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has entered into a contract with Booz Allen Hamilton to provide technical support for the development of a plan that can be used by the States and public safety answering points to enhance accident notification and emergency response along high-risk rural roads. I anticipate that this final plan will be presented to FICEMS in December. NHTSA has also entered into cooperative agreements with the Institute of Medicine (10M) and the National Association of State EMS Officials (NASEMSO). The 10M's Forum on Medical and Public Health Preparedness for Catastrophic Events (the Forum) hosted a workshop on August 3 to August 4 in Washington, DC to evaluate the EMS system response to rural mass casualty incidents (MCls). This meeting was immediately followed by a meeting of NASEMSO's Highway Incidents and Transportation Systems (HITS) committee on August 5 to August 6 in Washington, DC to continue the development of guidelines for EMS system response to rural MCls. I am particularly pleased that the 10M and NASEMSO have coordinated their meetings to provide an opportunity for the HITS committee to be informed by a public deliberation of subject matter experts. I anticipate that proceedings from the 10M workshop will be available to FICEMS in the winter of2010 and NASEMSO's HITS committee will present their work to FICEMS in June 2011. The FICEMS Preparedness Committee and 9-1-l/Medical Communication Ad-Hoc Committee provide ongoing direction and oversight for these projects and keep the FICEMS apprised on progress toward addressing the NTSB's recommendations. I will continue to provide periodic project updates to the NTSB as FICEMS' work progresses. I would be pleased to respond to your questions, or you may have your staff contact Drew Dawson, Chair of the FICEMS Technical Working Group at NHTSA's Office of Emergency Medical Services. Drew can be reached at (202) 366-9966 or by e-mail at drew.dawson@dot.gov.

From: NTSB
To: Federal Interagency Committee on Emergency Medical Services
Date: 7/20/2010
Response: Thank you for your March 17, 2010 letter; the September 14 and December 18, 2009, letters from Dr. Kevin Yeskey, Past-Chairman, Federal Interagency Committee on Emergency Medical Services (FICEMS); and the December 19, 2009, e-mail from Ms. Laurie Flaherty, Program Analyst, Office of Emergency Medical Services, following a meeting the same day between our staffs regarding Safety Recommendations H-09-4 and -5, stated below. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) issued these recommendations to FICEMS on May 29, 2009, as a result of the NTSB’s investigation of a motorcoach rollover accident that occurred near Mexican Hat, Utah, on January 6, 2008. The NTSB is pleased that FICEMS has approved strategies for addressing these recommendations and that both the development and implementation of these plans reflect its interagency commitment and collaboration. The NTSB would appreciate receiving periodic updates on these efforts as they continue. Pending receipt of such updates and completion of the recommended actions, Safety Recommendations H 09-4 and -5 are classified OPEN -- ACCEPTABLE RESPONSE. Thank you for your cooperation.

From: Federal Interagency Committee on Emergency Medical Services
To: NTSB
Date: 3/17/2010
Response: Letter Mail Controlled 3/25/2010 3:30:28 PM MC# 2100111 - From David L. Strickland, Chair, Federal Interagency Committee on Emergency Medical Services, Administrator of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration: The Federal Interagency Committee on Emergency Medical Services (FICEMS) appreciates the National Transportation Safety Board's (NTSB) recognition of the essential role of our nation's 9-1-1 and Emergency Medical Services (EMS) systems in reducing motor vehicle morbidity and mortality. The Mexican Hat bus crash report aptly describes many of the challenges of accessing and delivering EMS in rural areas. The FICEMS is pleased that NTSB Member Sumwalt provided an overview of the Mexican Hat bus crash during our June 2009 meeting. In addition to the FICEMS' review of the entire report, several of our subcommittees formulated detailed plans to address the NTSB recommendations. These subcommittee reports were deliberated and approved during the January 20,2010 FICEMS meeting. We are pleased to provide the enclosed FICEMS-approved strategies for addressing the two NTSB recommendations (H-09-4 and H-09-5). Both the development and implementation of these plans reflect our significant interagency commitment and collaboration. We request that both recommendations receive an "Open-Acceptable Action" status. We will provide periodic project updates to the NTSB. If you have any questions concerning these FICEMS reports, please contact Drew Dawson at the NHTSA Office of EMS which provides administrative support to FICEMS.

From: Federal Interagency Committee on Emergency Medical Services
To: NTSB
Date: 12/17/2009
Response: Letter Mail Controlled 12/30/2009 8:39:16 AM MC# 2090727 - From Laurie Flaherty, FICEMS - [Forwarding a copy of the FICEMS Technical Working Group draft tasking plan.]

From: Federal Interagency Committee on Emergency Medical Services
To: NTSB
Date: 9/14/2009
Response: Letter Mail Controlled 9/22/2009 4:08:45 PM MC# 2090598 - From Kevin Yeskey, M.D., Chair, Federal Interagency Committee on Emergency Medical Services, Director, Office of Preparedness and Emergency Operations, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response: The Federal Interagency Committee on Emergency Medical Services (FICEMS) appreciates the National Transportation Safety Board's (NTSB) recognition of the emergency medical s e ~ c essy stem as an essential component of reducing morbidity and mortality from motor vehicle crashes and other transportation-related emergencies. As aptly described in the Mexican Hat bus crash report, there are difficult challenges in both access to and delivery of EMS in rural areas. The FICEMS takes the NTSB recommendations very seriously and has initiated steps to fully explore solutions. The FICEMS is carefully reviewing the facts of the Mexican Hat Crash and is scheduled to consider a proposed response to the NTSB recommendations at its next meeting in December 2009. In the interim, the FICEMS offers the following information for consideration by the Board. A special subcommittee of the FICEMS Communications Committee was established to specifically address this recommendation. This subcommittee, chaired by staff from the Federal Communication Commission, has already explored a variety of options to enhance emergency notification and response along high risk rural roads. This subcommittee will initiate dialogue with other Federal agencies in formulating its response. The subcommittee has also established initial discussion with the Highway Incident and Transportation Systems (HITS) Committee of the National Association of State EMS Officials (NASEMSO) and the Transportation Safety Advancement Group (TSAG). Relevant national rural organizations will also be consulted in preparing the recommendations. The subcommittee will report its findings on feasible options and recommendations to FICEMS.