STARS Program

The DOT STARS program serves the motoring public with an emphasis on safety and premier customer service. Our STARS program operates with the primary mission of providing safe, timely assistance to stranded motorists. STARS operators serve a critical function in offering aid. That aid is implemented by a well-trained and efficiently managed team, working together for quick, safe clearance and reduced traveler delay.

We work together with DOT to evaluate not only this opportunity but also one for potential sponsorship of the STARS fleet as well.

The Menzel Team has extensive experience implementing sponsorship programs for motorist assist fleets and is well-positioned to leverage that experience for DOT.






Safety Service Patrol (STARS) Operations

We view customer service as the most important focus of our managers and operators. Since 1984 the Menzel Team has handled over one million service assists in Wisconsin and Iowa. We fully understand how critically important public perception is to DOT. Our services have received extremely positive publicity from the news media with our quick clearance efforts. Currently, our customer service scores are in excess of 99% driver satisfaction, a clear testament to our STARS operators and their desire to provide World Class Service.
We are prepared to provide continuous, consistent, and autonomous services in STARS’s regions, including conducting safe, quick clearance of incidents; initiating an operator team with exceptional training for drivers; minimizing incident effect and duration; clearing obstruction and debris from roadways; establishing temporary traffic control for safe, quick clearance; and working seamlessly with local law enforcement and the regional Traffic Management Centers.

Within each region, we assume responsibility for maintenance of all STARS vehicles as part of the transition process. In preparation for vehicle transition in each region, we establish management control processes, finalize documentation and Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs), and acquire needed resources to run the STARS program.

In addition, we begin by re-training existing staff that will be re-badged to the Menzel Team and will augment existing staff when necessary with additional qualified personnel using multiple recruiting resources, including the migration of existing qualified DOT and/or contractor staff when available. We welcome the opportunity to work together with DOT to initiate innovative/effective approaches. Our Team operates from a strategic and practical statewide approach, gleaning lessons learned and national best practices.

The Menzel Team provides all STARS operators with personal protective equipment (PPE), meeting and exceeding the required standards of Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) for the appropriate hazards. Uniforms comply and are suited for all Workers Safety Considerations. We issue optic-fiber safety vests for our STARS operators to provide illumination and enhance visibility and safety while on patrol.

Working with our STAR associates, we have assembled a team of highly-skilled managers and operators that provide a first-responder capability for the Core Motorist Assist Services, which includes:

  • Detecting incidents and disruptions in traffic

  • Minimizing incident duration

  • Clearing obstructions and debris from the roadway

  • Establishing temporary traffic control for emergency responders and provid-ing scene assistance

  • Supporting reversible roadway and high-occupancy vehicle gate operations to ensure safe and incident- free lane change functions

  • Use of Drone equipment to establish work zone management needs

  • Towing and Recovery light duty – heavy duty equipment

  • Other emergency conditions, as needed

Standardizing requirements for all operators across the Menzel Enterprise footprint allows for increasing interoperability between regions to address the needs for emergencies or special events. This allows us to be flexible with operators and make the necessary adjustments needed to ensure that the focus of the STARS program is to reduce incident duration. The STARS program leverages the technology provided by the ATMS software provider to track the movements of the operators and also allows the Menzel Team to ensure scalability across all of the regions to ensure proper STARS coverage.

Our team also provides Secondary Motorist Assist Services, including:

  • Tire change assistance

  • Fuel to get to nearest gas station

  • Jump starts

  • Water for overheating radiators

  • Phone access to call local tow/recovery services

  • Courtesy water bottles for stranded motorists

  • Directions

  • Tow to the nearest exit or place of safety

The Menzel Team provides all STARS operators with personal protective equipment (PPE), meeting and exceeding the required standards of Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA).
We place a well-trained, competent staff who are focused on quick clearance and incident management. In addition to the required training, the Menzel Team has developed expectations that each operator candidate must meet. Our proposed high-level training process is presented below.
Trainees must first complete and pass TIM Certification, SHRP2, CPR, first aid, HAZMAT and OSHA classes.

All operators must also complete our in-house class, which is a two-hour course focusing on the Incident Command System Traffic Incident Management Guidelines (ICS-100). Each trainee spends time in a classroom setting learning the principles of ICS-100 to ensure the proper chain of command is followed. When an incident becomes larger, with many resources involved, this training ensures the fastest, most effective and approved response from our operators.

Once the above requirements are met, the trainee must complete one-on-one customer service and process training with a certified trainer.
After successful completion of the above-mentioned classroom courses, the trainees will begin field training where they learn to perform the light duty services that we will provide for the SSP program.

Initial field training requirements will include 40 hours of training.

Each trainee will be given a copy of SOPs, employee handbook and training module packet to review and sign off on understanding what is to be expected while on duty. Training will include riding with a senior driver for the first two days observing and familiarizing the new driver with duties and responsibilities of the SSP team.

Each operator trainee will begin to drive with a designated driver/trainer and will be given several examples and scenarios on possible incident management events, as well as proper communication protocols used with Traffic Management operators.

Trainees will receive rollover and fire extinguisher training.

Each trainee will be sent to Traffic Management orientation. The Menzel Team recognizes that some trainees may need additional training and will train the trainee additional days until the driver is fully competent in the task of operating their assigned vehicle. All training/certification records will be kept in employee files that will be available for use at DOT’s request.