Case Study - I-95 Pile Up

The Incident

On the morning of February 25, 2015 over 100 vehicles were involved in a major pile up on I-95. The accident was met with 91 first responders after over 70 calls to 911 within a 45 minute time span

The initial 911 call was placed at 7:32 am. Within 5 minutes, the first state trooper arrived on the scene and shut I-95 down. The resulting chain-reaction pile-up included 34 passenger vehicles, a school bus, two tractor-trailers, and two trucks. The overall incident spanned a distance of four miles and resulted in 40 total patients including 17 transported to two area hospitals; four walk‐ins at area clinics and 19 treated on scene and released. By 11:50 am, a single lane on I-95 was reopened. By 12:23 pm, the interstate was fully operational.

The Response

There were a total of 91 first responders on the scene of this incident, including:

  • Maine State Police
  • Penobscot County Sheriff’s Office
  • Carmel FD
  • Etna FD
  • Bangor FD
  • Hermon FD
  • Newburgh FD
  • Brewer FD
  • Maine DOT
  • Maine IF&W Game Warden
  • Maine DACF Forest Ranger
  • 17 Municipal and private ambulances
  • Maine State Police Regional Dispatch Center
  • Penobscot Regional Communications Center
  • Dozens of tow trucks
  • Area Hospitals
  • An off‐duty firefighter‐EMT

Key Considerations

  • Seventy calls were placed to 911 in 45 minutes
  • Poor Land Mobile Radio (LMR) coverage and reasonable Long Term Evolution (LTE) coverage
  • Five wrecker companies utlized with no integrated LMR or LTE solution
  • Amy Kenney, spokeswoman for St. Joseph Hospital in Bangor, said the hospital initiated a “code triage” after learning of the pileup. “Coordinated efforts began immediately with Eastern Maine Medical Center to ensure communication of available community health care resources,”
  • “Fire and EMS personnel, Law Enforcement, Regional Communications Centers, Wrecker Companies, Hospitals and Maine DOT worked extremely well together to rescue the injured, stabilize the scene, reroute traffic, conduct preliminary investigation and eventually return the interstate to full operation in less than 5 hours.” Lt. Sean Hashey, Maine State Police Troop E Media Release. 11 MAR 2015

How Could FirstNet Help?

Poor Land Mobile Radio (LMR) Coverage

Rapid deployment mobile network with LMR/LTE interoperability and high‐power LTE or microwave backhaul

Lack of interoperable communications

VoLTE and P25‐LTE Gateways allowing LMR to LTE connectivity with talk groups, push‐to‐talk phone to LMR and emergency pre‐emption for Incident Command across talk groups

Medical Emergency Triage

This pile-up resulted in forty patients requiring seventeen ambulance transports. FirstNet applications could coordinate triage; organize EMS and ambulance response and notify hospital emergency rooms of the scale of the incident.

Asset Tracking and Accountability

Seventeen police, fire and EMS agencies responded with 91 first responders. FirstNet applications could assist with directing and staging mutual aid apparatus arriving on the scene. They could also assist with accounting for personnel and in dispatch and tracking of civilian first responders like tow truck companies