Applied Research Associates, Inc., in partnership with the US Department of Homeland Security, has developed a simple PC and smartphone based application to help first responders address hazmat and IED incidents. The application, First Responder Support Tools (FiRST), provides map-based data on hazard standoff, nearby points of concern, and IED damage and injury contours, as well as important reference data and features.
Hazmat evacuation is based on the 2012 Emergency Response Guidebook which has hazard response information for over 3,000 materials. For the over 600 materials that have an inhalation hazard, FiRST automatically retrieves local weather data to properly orient the downwind evacuation zone.
Carl Jerrett, PhD of Applied Research Associates, Inc. told Infologue.com that the app is currently being used in the UK and the image used for this story is a London map.
IED standoff data can be created and saved by the user. For users fulfilling an official role for response or security can request access to DHS IED standoff data; this data is available in the application to those that provide an IED verification code. Users can share their analyses with a single push of an email button that captures the incident details, an image of the map, and Shape and kml files of all map data. FiRST also provides fast capabilities to access roadblocks necessary to isolate an incident area. This capability is currently limited on mobile devices to US road network data, but the Windows PC version of FiRST allows users to supply their own road network data to run analyses locally.
FiRST is available on Android, iOS, and Windows PC platforms and can be found on Google Play and iTunes by searching for “IED” and/or “Hazmat”.