PHMSA Administrator Cynthia Quarterman encourages every first responder to download the new ERG app, which provides emergency responders with information to help them manage hazardous material incidents.
The U.S. Department of Transportation's Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) unveiled a free, mobile-app version of its Emergency Response Guidebook 2012 (ERG), a reference manual to help first responders deal with hazmat situations during the critical first 30 minutes after an accident. The new app will provide each of the nation's emergency responders with information to help them manage hazardous material incidents with immediate access to ERG information, said PHMSA Administrator Cynthia Quarterman.
"During those first critical moments when you go to an incident — for example a tractor/trailer filled with a chemical — you need to know immediately how to respond, and that's the information the ERG provides," Quarterman said.
PHMSA and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' National Library of Medicine produced the two ERG mobile apps, available for both Apple and Android devices. Quarterman said the ERG app will let firefighters, police and other emergency first responders quickly locate the information they need via a built-in electronic word search function. It also lets users access the full ERG, which includes new evacuation tables for large toxic gas spills and standard response procedures for gas- and liquid-pipeline incidents. With the app, Quarterman said users can access data on almost any hazard, such as health risks to victims, equipment required for response and first-aid techniques used on those suffering from exposure.
Quarterman said PHMSA's goal is get a copy of the ERG to every first responder in the country, "because this resource helps firefighters protect themselves and their communities quickly."
The app can be downloaded from the Apple iTunes store or Google Play for Android. It also is available through PHMSA, which requests users provide feedback on the app. E-mail your comments to ERG2012@dot.gov.