Home Interviews THMG036 – ERG Review with The Firefighter Podcast

THMG036 – ERG Review with The Firefighter Podcast


In this mash-up episode, we join forces with Bob Metcalfe from The Firefighter Podcast and review the brand new ERG (Emergency Response Guidebook). This is a great refresher for those of you who haven’t looked at it for a while!

Complete Show Notes

3:45 Firefighters and the ERG

  • Bob M. and the other firefighters keep the ERG under the driver or officer’s seat or within close range (i.e. storage compartment above the cab) – it’s always easily accessible
  • Bobby and Mike have an ERG, but they aren’t quite sure where it is
  • Bob M. and most firefighters have WISER on their phones and iPads (they keep iPads in their rigs)
  • Don’t forget that the ERG is free for first responders – the DOT will send you a ton of them

8:15 Front Cover and Shipping Papers

  • New black bar at the top lets us know that the ERG is made for outdoor operations – you shouldn’t use it for inside operations because action levels change
  • Shipping flow chart – very firefighter friendly

10:00 Placards (pp. 8-9)

  • These are the pretty pages
  • Black circles with white numbers – this is your playbook for handling these types of operations
  • Rail car identification chart is now spread over two pages, so it’s easier to read
  • Also provides more of a 3D view of the rail cars, which is more helpful than a 2D view

12:10 Tankers (pp. 12-13)

  • Helpful silhouettes that help you identify tankers from the rear
  • Also gives you key things to look at on the side of the tanker
  • These charts are much bigger than they’ve been in the past

14:20 Global Harmonization

  • Uses the new SDS (Safety Data Sheet) system – everything is in a pre-determined sheet
  • First responders around the world can use this resource – everything is streamlined and uniform
  • Double UN identification – used around the world
    • Bottom 4 numbers are the UN identification number
    • Top 2-3 numbers are used for hazard identification
    • If you see a number twice, it’s twice as bad
    • If you see a 9, it’s explosive
    • If you see an “X”, it’s dangerous with water
  • These numbers apply to any vehicle that’s crossing international borders – you’ll see this frequently in Europe because countries are closer together

19:50 Petroleum Transportation

  • This section has also been expanded for 2016 – includes underground pipeline markings
  • White section – the meat of the book
  • Yellow section – numerical
  • Blue section – alphabetical

21:00 Diketene, Guide 131 UN2521 (pp. 113)

  • Green – toxic inhalation hazard
  • “P” – refers to polymers and the process of polymerization
  • Guide 111 – this is the “oh crap” page – come here whenever you don’t know what to do

28:00 Public Safety and Fire Info (pp. 214-215)

  • Gives you the chemical and physical properties you need to know when dealing with dangerous substances
  • Hazmat guys and firefighters both need to be able to identify hazardous products
  • There’s no line between small fires and large fires – it’s all based on perspective
  • Spills are mapped out – small is less than 55 gallons and large is more than 55 gallons

32:10 Green Section

  • Table I: numbers are radius-based from the point of impact – tells you how large of an area you need to isolate
  • Table II: this is designed for technicians and specialists – guide that tells you the names of the substances you’re dealing with
  • This helps technicians choose the right APR and PPE so we’re adequately prepared

40:35 UN No. 1040 – Ethylene Oxide (Large Spills) (pp. 356)

  • This is probably the most flammable substance on the planet – 1-100% flammability
  • This page of the ERG provides us with lots of information on how to handle this substance based upon wind speeds, time of day, etc.

42:20 Last Page

  • Chemtrac – designed to help with managing chemicals, training specialists, etc.
  • Extremely helpful resource for hazmat technicians

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