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From the Editor
by Greg Friese, Editor-in-Chief

How to train for hazardous materials incidents with the ERG app

Practice using the Emergency Response Guide book app to be prepared for a hazmat incident

By Greg Friese, EMS1 Editor-in-Chief

After completing Part 1 of the ERG App Training Curriculum, personnel should have downloaded the app (Google Play store or Apple App store) and become familiar with searching the ERG app by chemical name and UN identification number. You are welcome to use the below training curriculum or adapt it for your needs.

View Placards and Find Guide Pages

Continue training by projecting images of placards onto the big screen in your department's training room. Have personnel use the ERG 2012 app to find the guide page for each placard. Try giving each pair of personnel a printed copy of the ERG 2012 to see which method of finding a guide page is faster — using the printed book or the app.

Review the contents of a guide page, such as Guide 116, which is Gases — Flammable (Unstable). For inexperienced personnel take time to carefully review and explain the contents under each major heading:

  • Potential Hazards
  • Public Safety
  • Emergency Response

Create a PowerPoint slide deck of placard images by:

  • Finding placard images on Government websites (US DOT placards chart).
  • Using these Wikipedia placards (template of placards).
  • Creating your own collection of placard images by snapping photos of placarded trailers, containers, or railcars.
  • Drawing placards using PowerPoint drawing objects and tools

Remember the emergency response providing by your agency and its personnel depends on its authority, training, and standard operating guidelines. As such, this may be a good time to review how you request mutual aid resources for hazardous materials incidents.

On Scene Report

In a response company or crew, ask for a first on scene report after displaying a placard. Personnel need to find appropriate guide page and make decisions about the emergency response. Ask the officer for each group to give a radio report following your department's reporting format that includes the incident conditions, initial response actions, and needs for additional resources.

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