The primary purpose of the FIRST program, formerly known as Highway Helper program, is to minimize congestion and prevent secondary crashes through the quick response and removal of incidents. About half of the traffic congestion on Twin Cities freeways is caused by incidents such as crashes, stalled vehicles or debris in the roadway. These incidents also cause about 15 percent of freeway crashes. The FIRST program is a key component of the Metro Area's Incident Management Program.
- Provides needed assistance for stranded motorists
- Reduces congestion and crashes, which means less delay, shorter travel times and a more reliable trip as well as less emissions and fuel usage
- Improves the safety of motorists and other incident responders