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The 2012 Emergency Response Guidebook Now Available as Mobile App

The 2012 Emergency Response Guidebook Now Available as Mobile App

According to Ray LaHood, outgoing Secretary of Transportation,

The first 30 minutes are the most crucial when it comes to responding to a hazmat situation.

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That is why it is so important for 1st responders to have immediate access to the Emergency Response Guidebook (ERG).  The ERG is a go-to manual to help first responders deal with HazMat Incidents during those critical first 30 minutes.

It is the DOT’s goal to place an ERG in every emergency service vehicle nationwide.  To date, nearly 11 million free copies have been distributed to the emergency response community through state emergency management coordinators.

A shipper of a hazardous material must provide the carrier with the emergency response information contained in the orange pages of the emergency response guidebook

The 2012 ERG contains emergency response information

Copies are also available to the regulated community through a variety of sources and formats:

  • Books and CD-ROM’s are available for purchase from the DOT or from commercial suppliers.
  • A downloadable pdf of the ERG is available on the DOT website:  2012 ERG as pdf.
  • For years mobile apps have been available from a variety of sources for your smartphone,
  • But now, for the first time, a mobile app of the 2012 Emergency Response Guidebook is available for free from the US DOT.

“The mobile app will make it easier for firefighters, police, and other emergency first responders to quickly locate the information they need, thanks to the electronic word search function, and will ensure easy reading even during nighttime emergencies.” – From the DOT website.

Links to download the 2012 ERG software for both the iPhone and Android operating systems are available on the DOT website (link below).  A version of the 2012 ERG is also available in the National Library of Medicine Wireless Information System for Emergency Responders (WISER) application.

DOT Launches Free App Featuring Emergency Response Guidebook

If you want to learn more about the ERG and how to use it, you have two options:

  1. Check out this instructional video on the DOT website.
  2. Attend one of my Public Seminar training events or contact me to schedule Onsite Training.  Whenever I conduct HazMat Employee Training I include a section on the ERG, its importance during a HazMat Incident, how the hazard communication methods contribute to the emergency response, and a brief demonstration of the ERG in action.  At my Public Seminars, every trainee leaves with a copy of the 2012 Emergency Response Guidebook.

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Question:  Is an electronic copy of the Emergency Response Guidebook acceptable to comply with 49 CFR 172.602?  In other words, may the operator of a motor vehicle maintain the emergency response information required by 40 CFR 172.602 solely on a smartphone, tablet, or some other electronic device?

Answer:  No.  For confirmation of this, refer to 49 CFR 172.602(b)(3) which indicates how the emergency response information must be presented (emphasis added):

(i) On a shipping paper;

(ii) In a document, other than a shipping paper, that includes both the basic description and technical name of the hazardous material as required by §§172.202 and 172.203(k), the ICAO Technical Instructions, the IMDG Code, or the TDG Regulations, as appropriate, and the emergency response information required by this subpart (e.g., a material safety data sheet); or

(iii) Related to the information on a shipping paper, a written notification to pilot-in-command, or a dangerous cargo manifest, in a separate document (e.g., an emergency response guidance document), in a manner that cross-references the description of the hazardous material on the shipping paper with the emergency response information contained in the document. Aboard aircraft, the ICAO “Emergency Response Guidance for Aircraft Incidents Involving Dangerous Goods” and, aboard vessels, the IMO “Emergency Procedures for Ships Carrying Dangerous Goods”, or equivalent documents, may be used to satisfy the requirements of this section for a separate document.

The emergency response information must be on a document (eg. a piece of paper) in the possession of the operator of the transport vehicle.

Read here to learn more about the correct method for providing the emergency response information:  Emergency Response Information Requirements and the Emergency Response Guidebook.