Navy Veteran and Idaho Transportation Department (ITD) worker Shawn Denham continues to answer the call of duty; it just looks different these days. Denham is part of ITD’s Incident Response team, a two-person team that aids motorists broken down on Interstate 84 in the Treasure Valley.
The day-to-day mission has no doubt changed since Denham’s five years with the Navy. Denham can now be found jump-starting vehicles, refilling a radiator, changing tires, and providing gas to those stranded along I-84. On average he drives 150 to 200 miles each day looking for motorists in need of help.
ITD’s Incident Response team began in 1997. Since that time crews have responded to well over 100,000 traffic incidents and are often the first on the scene at collisions.
Any incident that clogs the roadway has potential to create secondary crashes, which is why ITD’s Incident Response team is cruising the interstate Monday through Friday. For each minute a crash is not cleared, the chances of a secondary crash increase about three percent.
There is also significant economic benefit to the team. It’s been estimated that in Southwest Idaho, a half-hour delay in an urban setting can equate to $30,000 in lost work productivity.
Eleven percent of ITD’s workforce is made up of veterans. In total, there are 164 veterans at ITD including 12 women and 152 men. The Idaho Transportation Department wants to thank all veterans of the United States Armed Forces for their service.