There is an abundance of fire service applications for mobile devices in your favorite app store. Some are useful (provides valuable information), some are usable (excellent user interface). The best ones are both.
One of those really good apps is the Hybrid Auto Extrication Guide for iPad by Field Applications, LLC. This free app (iPhone, iPad, Android) pulls data from Moditechâ€™s vast database of motor vehicle safety features. Although Moditechâ€™s Crash Recovery Software covers the safety features of essentially every make and model of North American vehicles, this app presents info only about hybrid vehicles.
This app is useful because it focuses on the parts of a hybrid car that can pose a risk to rescuers when at the scene of a motor vehicle collision. There are still lingering myths about hybrid vehicles that induce concern in even the most seasoned firefighter.
Armed with the knowledge provided by this app, crews can operate more efficiently and safely. For example, once the 12V battery is secured (disconnected), there is virtually zero chance of electricity flowing through the high voltage cabling, thus making the hybrid just like a conventional car (except for the HV battery pack typically deep inside the vehicle away from cut zones). Finding out the location of 12V battery is one example of how this app is so usable.
Simply scrolling through the list of vehicle brands, one can find the model of a vehicle, click on it and then select the vehicle year. The user is presented with both an overhead and side schematic of the vehicle showing, in color-coded images, components of the vehicle that could present a hazard to the rescuer. For example, the 12V battery is a bright yellow pictogram shown in its position in the vehicle. Voila! Rescuers will know exactly where the battery is located without having to look in multiple locations. The pictogram also shows locations of high voltage components, seat-belt pretensioners, and high-strength steel among components.
All-in-all, this app is useful and usable because it allows the user to find critical information fast, presents it in an easy-to-read format, and doesnâ€™t bog down the user with unnecessary bells and whistles. All helpful when at the scene of a MVC.
Work smartly, stay safe.
If you want to know about other helpful mobile apps for first responders, download our eBook Ten Useful Apps for Firefighters.