ASSIGNMENT EDITOR: RIDE-ALONGS/PHOTO OPS/INTERVIEWS AVAILABLE
For Immediate Release:
October 23, 2012
For More Information:
Susan D. Hubbard
Public Information Officer
Prince George’s County Department of Public Works and Transportation
Media Invited to October 26th Snow and Ice Control Preparedness Dry Run Exercise
Residents awakening on Friday morning, October 26, 2012, to the sounds or sights of snowplows traveling through their neighborhoods might think Prince George’s County has been hit with an early winter storm! However, folks will be happy to learn that the County’s Department of Public Works and Transportation (DPW&T) is only conducting its Annual Countywide Snow and Ice Control Dry Run, which begins at 4:00 AM, Friday morning, October 26th.
During the annual Dry Run, safety inspections of more than 200 snow and emergency vehicles and related equipment are conducted; operational procedures are evaluated; communication systems are checked for reliability; and the 400+ staff members of DPW&T and their agency partners “run” through assignments to ensure safe road travel for citizens and residents during inclement weather.
All DPW&T employees –engineers, administrative staff, project coordinators and bus drivers - join the department’s Office of Highway maintenance crews for alternative duty assignments ranging from snowplow drivers and safety inspectors to supply monitors and customer service representatives, as well as everything else in between. Additional crews from other County agencies also partner with DPW&T in this Annual Dry Run and throughout the winter season to assist in clearing County roadways. In addition, members of DPW&T’s innovative Community Partners’ Program participate through mock telephone calls that help staff gage response times during winter weather conditions.
The Dry Run provides an opportunity for inclement weather emergency procedures to be tested to the last detail before the winter season strikes! Any remaining pre-season Snow and Ice Control Program adjustments are made as a result of this exercise to ensure the County’s readiness to safeguard citizens and residents travelling on more than 5,000 lane miles of County-maintained roadways. In addition, DPW&T will test its newly installed Automated Vehicle Locator system. This system allows for the tracking of all snow vehicles to determine where a vehicle is during an event.
Command staff operations for inclement weather and other emergency related events are conducted from DPW&T’s state-of-the-art Traffic Response and Information Partnership (TRIP) Center, located at 8414 D’Arcy Road, Forestville. The TRIP Center serves as the coordination hub for all DPW&T snow and emergency related information with public safety agencies, as well as state and regional transportation management centers. Snow and ice control operations are dispatched from five district substations located in the northern, central and southern areas of Prince George’s County.
During the October 26th Dry Run, members of the media are invited to participate in a ride-along with drivers and/or join staff at the Command Center. Drivers will follow their assigned routes to familiarize themselves with the routes, time their runs, and look for any hazardous road conditions that need to be addressed before the first snow fall.
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