US electricity company release emergency responder app

A new smart device app launched by US energy company, National Grid, will give first responders in New England the capability to report emergency situations involving the company’s gas and electric infrastructure.

The electricity and natural gas delivery company is the first in the US to utilize the new application, which is called First Responder.

The app will enhance communication during urgent situations by giving police and fire departments the ability to send photographs of infrastructure damage directly to key National Grid personnel in Massachusetts and Rhode Island.

This allows the company to determine the quickest and most appropriate way to remedy the situation before arriving on scene.

National Grid anticipates that use of the app will reduce overall storm restoration time because the company will have an advance on storm damage as emergency responders send photos in real-time.

“National Grid is a leader in emergency response because after every restoration we challenge ourselves and explore, could we have done anything better?” president of National Grid, Massachusetts, Marcy Reed said.

“First Responder is an exciting tool that will help enhance emergency response. We are excited to work with first responders so we will know exactly what we are dealing with before we even arrive on the scene.”

Currently, police and fire departments report field incidents by calling in reports to a dedicated line at National Grid.

With the First Responder App, they will now augment that process by snapping a geographically-targeted photo and giving utility workers visual and additional details prior to arriving on the scene.

Once the report is submitted, notification will be sent to responding National Grid personnel for advance field assessment.

There are more than 500 first responders across Massachusetts and Rhode Island registered for the First Responder App.