The agency’s first Incident Response (IR) vehicle in the Rogue Valley is operated by Sergio Mendoza, a former 911 dispatcher from Texas, who transitioned to his new role earlier this year from the Southern Oregon Traffic Operations Center.
Mendoza handles incidents that otherwise would necessitate pulling maintenance crews off other projects to respond. The IR program increases efficiency for ODOT’s maintenance program while providing the quick response and service important for keeping traffic moving.
“My responsibility is to keep the public safe and be the agency’s resource on the road,” said Mendoza. “My role also allows ODOT to better coordinate and connect with local emergency response agencies both on the highway and in strategy meetings.”
The IR program’s ability to quickly clear incidents from Oregon’s highways benefits the public by reducing delay and reducing fuel consumption. Incident responders will also respond to incidents in other locations as requested by dispatch.
“The best compliments are from motorists thankful to have a helping hand on the highway and from our partner agencies because we’re there to assist,” said Mendoza.