U.S. Department of Transportation to Distribute 1.73 Million Hazmat Guidebooks to Police, Fire and Emergency Organizations

Washington, D.C. – U. S. Secretary of Transportation Norman Y. Mineta announced that the Department of Transportation is distributing 1.73 million copies of a new hazmat safety manual to police, fire and other emergency response organizations. The manual, the Emergency Response Guidebook 2004, is designed to aid emergency response personnel who may be the first to arrive at the scene of a transportation incident involving hazardous materials.

“This book is the safety gold standard for first responders who must know what they are dealing with before responding to an incident,” said Secretary Mineta.

The guidebook is a joint project between the U.S. Department of Transportation, Transport Canada, and the Secretariat of Communications and Transportation of Mexico. The book provides guidance to first responders on how to identify the types of materials that may be involved in an incident and the threats those materials might pose to emergency crews and the public.

“Getting the right information into the hands of local police and firefighters will greatly improve our nation’s front-line, first response capability,” said Samuel G. Bonasso, deputy administrator of the Department’s Research and Special Programs Administration (RSPA).

Public emergency response personnel can find their state coordinator contact information by visiting the Hazardous Materials Safety Web site at http://hazmat.dot.gov, or by calling (202) 366-4900. Copies are also available commercially through the U.S. Government Printing Office Bookstore and other commercial vendors.

Mineta also announced grants to states, territories, and Native American tribes totaling $12.8 million for planning and training to improve response to hazardous materials transportation incidents.

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