The German manufacturer of firefighter protective clothing S-Gard has developed an app that enables firefighters and rescue workers to document their operations quickly and easily. This is intended in particular to document contact (exposure) with substances that are hazardous to health, such as PAHs - polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. These are suspected to be carcinogenic and can be absorbed through the respiratory tract or skin by smoke gases and soot particles.

In case of a later illness, the documentation helps firefighters to prove that the illness could be related to their firefighting activities. The app also enables rescue workers to document operations in which they have had contact with SARS-CoV-2 patients. The German Robert Koch Institute had already recommended such documentation in February this year.

With the development of the app, S-Gard takes up a recommendation of the German Social Accident Insurance (DGUV), which recommends that fire brigades document fire operations in which their people are exposed to substances that are hazardous to health. The background to this is that firefighters are repeatedly suffering from cancer. The risk of developing kidney or bladder cancer in particular is significantly higher among firefighters than in the average population. As these illnesses often occur only after several years of service, it is difficult to prove that the illness is related to service without documentation of exposure.

With the doku112 app, emergency services can store central information on their operations and download or print it out if required.

The app now enables firefighters to quickly and easily record all relevant data directly after the incident. To protect privacy, the data is only stored locally on the smartphone. As long as they are not deleted, users can export, print and externally store the data at any time.

Axel Ratz of S-GARD explains: "The app takes up all relevant information, as documented for example in the ZED (Central Exposure Database of the German National Accident Insurance DGUV). However, we have additionally extended the data to be recorded to include fire brigade-specific areas. This allows the user of our app to document the type and circumstances of use even more precisely".

The data collected includes information on the location, type and duration of the operation, weather conditions and outdoor temperature, and whether and how long respiratory protection was worn. Rescue teams can also document information on the partners of the operation, the protective measures and the contamination risk. The entries are initially only stored locally on the smartphone, but can be exported at any time.

The doku112 app is free of charge and is available for both iOS and Android operating systems.

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