National Wildfire Coordinating Group

Traffic Control Aid, TCA1

Position Category: 
All-Hazard Positions
Position Code: 
Functional Area: 
AD Class: 


The purpose of this position is to act as an emergency responder during any event that could potentially close roadways, disrupt traffic flow, disrupt emergency response, disrupt evacuation of persons at risk, or disrupt disaster recovery operations.  The traffic control aid may also be employed to manage any other situation effecting traffic flow that left unmanaged could lead to loss of life and/or property.


  • Performs traffic management functions during emergency incidents.
  • Mitigates traffic and other transportation issues on roadways during severe weather, floods, hurricanes, earthquakes, fire suppression incidents or motor vehicle accidents.  Ensures the proper use of tire chains and other safety equipment during snow and ice storms.
  • Cooperates with and assists police, emergency medical services and fire suppression resources in resolving traffic flow issues.
  • Operates a variety of government vehicles to perform non-emergency driving assignments.
  • Utilizes required Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), and adheres to all safety procedures.
  • Accounts for, utilizes, maintains, and makes minor repairs of all issued equipment.
  • Performs additional tasks or duties as assigned during a mission.

Position Knowledge and/or Requirements

  • Basic knowledge of the Incident Command System (ICS).
  • General knowledge of basic traffic law, regulations, and concepts within the area of operation.
  • Knowledge of situational awareness fundamentals including personal equipment, the use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), and general all-risk hazards.  Knowledge of the procedures, operations, and protocols of radios used in emergency operations including mobile units.
  • Ability to operate two and four-wheel drive vehicles in a variety of terrain and weather conditions.  A valid state driver license is required.
  • Ability to communicate effectively.

Supervisory Controls

Work direction is provided by the Incident Commander, Supervisory Park Ranger, SAR Leader, or other designated supervisor who makes specific assignments and procedures to be followed.  Routine traffic control duties are performed independently, and instructions are provided for unfamiliar or unusual situations.  Continuous supervision or oversight is provided if assigned to work in the field.  Completed work is reviewed for compliance with instructions.


Basic procedures for doing the work have been established and a number of specific guidelines or standard orders are available.  Operational-specific guidance may be provided orally or in writing.  Occasional problems encountered may not be specifically covered by guidelines.

The incumbent uses judgment in selecting the most appropriate guidelines, references or procedures based on the individual jurisdiction’s rules and regulations, or applicable park guidelines.


The incumbent works in a wide variety of functional areas which require basic traffic management skills and often involving critical situations such as search, rescue, and recovery operations, severe weather events, emergency medical incidents, structural and wildland fire situations, and motor vehicle accidents.  These events involve interactions that require sensitivity to the general public, and local businesses impacted by the emergency situation.

Emergency traffic management often involves decision making and action in extremely adverse physical and emotional conditions and ability to function effectively in controversial and/or sensitive situations.  Work requires application and modification of established practices in some areas of responsibility, with discretion and judgment shown in emergency situations.

Scope and Effect

Purpose of this position is to assist in managing traffic during emergency operations in order to allow for efficient and safe operations involving search, rescue and recovery operations, or other emergency services.  The efficiency of assignments and safety depends upon the effectiveness and timeliness of the incumbent’s decisions and actions.

Personal Contacts

Personal contacts include local agency emergency services personnel or incident management personnel during the duration of the incident.  Additional contacts may be made with media operations, family members, the affected public, special interest groups, and others interested and assisting with the incident.

Purpose of Contacts

The purpose of contacts is to obtain briefings and orders, as well as to relay incident information to and from the incident management team and other team members, and to provide general and specific information and assistance regarding traffic-related issues.

Physical Demands

Traffic control duties involve physically demanding work, primarily outside in a variety of weather and terrain conditions.  Assignments assisting all-incident teams may require rigorous physical ability and strenuous activity.  Incumbent must be in good physical condition to carry out these responsibilities, and to perform assignments in remote areas.  These routine and emergency situations often require clear reasoning and decisive action under conditions of extreme mental and physical stress.

Work Environment

Work environment is predominately outdoors in all weather conditions, night or day, for prolonged periods of time.  Travel may be by foot, vehicle, or boat.  The incumbent is subject to cold, hot, windy, wet, or snowy conditions for hours at a time.


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