The Australasian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP) has developed the ANCAP RESCUE app, designed to help emergency crews rescue people trapped in crashed vehicles.
The app features a database of more than 500 new and used cars with instructions for emergency service personnel on how to cut vehicles open after a crash.
The app also increases frontline emergency service personnel's safety by providing information identifying the location of in-vehicle hazards and allows for faster post-crash care to occupants.
ANCAP Director Communications and Advocacy Rhianne Robson said the app houses a dossier of rescue sheets, which display simple illustrations of individual vehicle models and highlight potentially hazardous elements such as fuel tanks, high-voltage batteries and airbag inflators.
"With the support of vehicle manufacturers, the ANCAP RESCUE app compiles the rescue sheets for more than 500 vehicle models into a central, digital resource," Mrs Robson said.
"This will become increasingly important with the anticipated growth in hybrid, electric and alternative-powered vehicle models."
Mrs Robson said the app was part of their broadening safety focus to minimise post-crash risks.
"Providing fire and rescue, police and ambulance officers – and in many cases SES volunteers – the tools to identify known hazards will improve response time and help reduce some of the risks they face on the job each day," she said.
Fire and Rescue New South Wales Commissioner and Australasian Fire and Emergency Service Authorities Council Chair Paul Baxter commended the national database.
"Having standardised vehicle rescue information available in a centralised and easily-accessible platform provides first responders with a better understanding of the vehicle they're responding to, and how to ensure both their own safety and that of any crash casualties," Mr Baxter said.
The ANCAP RESCUE app is available to all Australian and New Zealand emergency service agencies for free from the AppStore and GooglePlay.
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