Whether responding to traffic crashes or opioid overdose calls, first-responder calls for service consume limited resources in first-responder time. Were those first-responders not assigned to that call, what could they be doing that could proactively reduce Social Harms? Law enforcement officers could be stopping cars or answering calls, while Fire/EMS units and personnel could be available to take other calls or back up other stations.
And in the case of traffic crashes, we're not only talking about first-responder time. We're also talking about transportation system delays experienced by motorists not involved in the crash incident, but still negatively affected by it.
Data-driven approaches to reducing Social Harm generally look at the locations of crashes and crimes, but fail to take into consideration where first-responders spend the most committed time, which after all is what taxpayers are really paying for when they pay taxes to your general fund. Our research adds that third element to data-driven approaches, and helps agencies understand what being reactive is costing them and what being proactive could do to help reduce Social Harms.
We have a variety of crash-related products designed to help agencies begin to understand what impacts crashes have on law enforcement's ability to be proactive, and how crashes impact Fire/EMS and the delays crashes inflict on the transportation system.
We are also exploring a similar method for expressing the cost of the Opioid Epidemic and Illegal Immigration on a jurisdiction in terms of tax-funded first-responses. While these projects are not yet ready for prime time, we are working closely with communities across the country to collect and analyze response data related to these critical topics.