WAGGA'S first responders have welcomed a new app designed to make attending scenes of car accidents safer and more efficient.
The ANCAP Rescue app provides first responders such as Fire and Rescue NSW with a database of 500 new and used cars' instructions on how to cut them open after a crash.
Free to all users, the app allows rescue crews to pinpoint critical dangers on a vehicle, particularly related to electrics, to make the process of removing victims from the vehicle both safer and quicker.
Turvey Park Fire and Rescue Station Commander Jeff Edwards said his team had downloaded the app this week, and were glad to have the extra help.
"This will make a massive difference, because it gives us the opportunity to look up a vehicle and find its safety features either when we arrive on scene or even before we get there, which will save so much time," he said.
"The biggest thing is being able to locate the power of the vehicle such as the battery and electrics, so we can disconnect that and save both the victim and ourselves from any danger cutting open the car."
Mr Edwards said of the 127,000 crashes attended by Fire and Rescue NSW crews across the state, 23,000 involved people trapped in vehicles.
"The amount of cases where we do need to get into a vehicle is fairly significant, so this app will definitely be put to use," he said.
"It could save five minutes, it could save 30, but every second counts for a rescue."
Some newer cars are also equipped with a barcode on the vehicle which can be scanned through the app to bring up cutaway details instantly.
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Fire And Rescue NSW acting inspector of operational capability, Clayton Allison, said the new technology could literally be a life safer.
"Before this app came along, we had to take some time before we could put any tools on the car," he said.
"We had to go through the vehicle, identify hazards, open up boots and bonnets and identify how to isolate the power, particularly in hybrid vehicles.
"This app allows us to identify those risks much more quickly and get to work in saving the people involved in these incidents."
The app can be downloaded to both smartphones and tablets.