William ‘Rusty’ James, August State Employee of the Month

William “Rusty” James is incident management coordinator for Kansas City’s Scout traffic system.

William “Rusty” James is incident management coordinator for Kansas City’s Scout traffic system.

Commitment and dedication to safety have earned William “Rusty” James the August State Employee of the Month honor.

The incident management coordinator for Kansas City Scout’s bi-state traffic management system was nominated by Kelly Backues with the Missouri Department of Transportation.

Traffic crashes on-scene or in-response are the leading cause of death among on-duty law enforcement officers and a major cause among fire-rescue personnel.

James initiated an information campaign among emergency responder associations and departments in the Kansas City area. He was the first incident manager in the nation to coordinate across state lines.

Since 2009, more than 150 departments and agencies have joined the Traffic Incident Management program, which has helped define responsibilities and created an open line of communication.

The program consistently decreases incident times and drivers spend less time stuck in traffic, Backues said.

“He demonstrates that clearing incidents safely and quickly within an effective incident management system is not based solely on proven technologies, but also requires cooperation and communication among diverse organizations, which he has led the charge in achieving,” she said.

James has secured funding for improved technology, such as mapping equipment to increase the speed at which incidents are cleared.

He travels regionally and nationally to train other agencies on matters including proper equipment use and safe practices.

“James is dedicated to saving lives through the use of proper training, equipment, standards and procedures,” Backues said.

“He displays outstanding leadership and vision in emergency traffic incident management by employing progressive management techniques.”

The Missouri State Employee of the Month is selected by the State Employee of the Month Selection Committee from among nominations submitted by the 16 state departments and some elected offices. The six committee members also are members of the State Training Advisory Council.

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