First Observer: 50,000 transportation pros enrolled, trained

By Land Line staff | Thursday, May 05, 2011

At the recent semiannual meeting of the OOIDA Board of Directors, it was reported that about 50,000 transportation professionals had been trained by First Observer – the Transportation Security Administration’s trucking security program.

OOIDA is a subcontractor for First Observer, which develops training modules for highway professionals, trains them for anti-terrorism and security preparedness, and receives information from those drivers.

On Friday, April 29, OOIDA’s Director of Security Operations Doug Morris’ reported to the board on transportation security issues, including the First Observer program. Morris said out of 6,100 calls made to First Observer by truckers, 254 calls have resulted in investigations by law enforcement or federal authorities.

First Observer’s website and toll free call center (888-217-5902) are available to truckers 24 hours a day.

The First Observer program is run by HMS Co. under a contract funded by the Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Emergency Management Agency. First Observer has a call center in the DC area, which is trained to gather information from trucking professionals.

OOIDA provides First Observer training and outreach to its 152,000 membership of small-business and professional truckers. Other subcontractors under HMS Co. include the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, Total Security Services International Inc., and Patton Boggs LLP.

Truckers that have access to a computer should register as a First Observer online at the website. If you don’t have access, call the 24/7 number at 888-217-5902, and an operator will help you register.

Morris also reported to the OOIDA board on the progress of the Transportation Alert Communication and Emergency Response (TRACER) program launched in the spring of 2009 by OOIDA. The program is a two-way communication system that sends alerts to members and coordinates information received from trucking members. Morris said TRACER can be credited with the recovery of numerous trucks and trailers.

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