First Observer program earns TSA official award nomination

By Charlie Morasch, Land Line staff writer | Wednesday, May 11, 2011

A nationwide trucking security program that trains truckers and others to notice and report potential terrorism and other crimes has garnered an award nomination for one federal employee.

William Arrington, general manager with TSA’s Highway and Motor Carrier Security Division, was recently nominated for the Homeland Security Medal. The award recognizes one federal employee for “a significant contribution to the nation in activities related to homeland security, and also includes a $3,000 prize.

The nomination was based on Arrington’s work with the First Observer program, which develops training modules for highway professionals; trains them for anti-terrorism and security preparedness; and receives information from those drivers.

OOIDA is a subcontractor for First Observer.

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

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.

Aside from his duties with First Observer, Arrington also works to secure highways, bridges and tunnels for the tens of millions of Americans who use the nation’s transportation network every day.

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