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DOT Releases New Free Emergency Response Guidebook

May 19th, 2016 by Howard Skolnik

Filed under: DOT/UN, HazMat, Skolnik Newsletter

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Transportation’s (USDOT) Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) recently released the 2016 Emergency Response Guidebook (ERG2016), providing first responders with an updated go-to manual to help respond to hazardous materials transportation accidents during the critical first minutes. PHMSA will distribute more than 1.5 million free copies of the guidebook to firefighters, emergency medical technicians and law enforcement officers across the nation.  Emergency first responders will use the ERG2016 to identify specific risks associated with compromised hazardous materials, and the recommended safety measures and procedures they should take to protect themselves and contain the incident as quickly as possible.

The ERG contains an indexed list of dangerous goods and the associated 4-digit United Nations identification numbers. The ERG also identifies the general hazards those dangerous goods pose and recommends safety precautions in remediating a hazmat incident. For example, if emergency first responders arrive at the scene of an overturned tractor trailer displaying a USDOT hazardous material placard, they would use the guidebook to identify the material associated with the placard and how best to respond.

PHMSA has also partnered with the National Library of Medicine (NLM) to provide a free Smartphone version of the ERG2016.  NLM also develops and distributes the Wireless Information System for Emergency Responders. The mobile application will be available this spring.

A copy of the new ERG2016 is posted online at: http://phmsa.dot.gov/hazmat/outreach-training/ergPrint copies of ERG2016 are available for sale to the general public through the U.S. Government Printing Office Bookstore at http://bookstore.gpo.gov and other commercial suppliers.

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