By Rudy King, Media Relations Staff
The Port Authority has a highly trained group of men and women – tunnel and bridge agents, known as TBAs – who serve as an integral part of the PA’s Tunnels, Bridges & Terminals Department.
These special agents are responsible for patrolling various areas of the Lincoln and Holland tunnels, as well as the George Washington Bridge. Each TBA is required to learn emergency rescue vehicle or fire truck operation, in addition to troubleshooting problems, towing stalled or disabled cars, extinguishing fires and providing life-saving measures.
They also are trained to use heavy hydraulic equipment and battery-powered rescue tools, responding to overturned vehicles, identifying and sometimes handling dangerous cargo – all in an effort to keep traffic flowing through some of the nation’s busiest roadways and crossings. Port Authority bridges and tunnels routinely handle about two million vehicles annually.
During the past 18 weeks, 15 TBA trainees have gone through a battery of tests in the classroom and in the field, provided by the Port Authority Technical Training Academy. Part of their intensive training required extinguishing a series of controlled – but very different – vehicle fires inside the Lincoln Tunnel.
It’s called the “live burn,” and here is an exclusive look at a recent Lincoln Tunnel exercise.