First responder software Chemical Companion receives update to support mobile devices

The developers of the Chemical Companion Decision Support System first responder software recently released an update that can be installed on mobile devices.

The software was created to provide CBRN first responders with a tool that can provide easy-to-access yet detailed information on chemical weapons during an incident. The new version works on Apple iOS and Google Android devices and features more than 12 tools and detailed information on 550 chemicals and 3,838 chemical synonyms.

"When we first introduced the Chemical Companion, it functioned as an information portal with basic e-reader functionality that enabled first responders to access information without lugging a dozen or more books around with them," Gisele Bennett, the director of the Georgia Tech Research Institute's Electro-Optical Systems Lab and Chemical Companion's primary investigator, said.

Initially, the Chemical Companion was designed to help first responders of fire and rescue incidents. The update, however, gives forensic teams and bomb squads useful tools for handling chemical incidents. Today, more than 1,200 organizations from the U.S., Australia, United Kingdom, Canada, Israel and the Netherlands have active accounts with Chemical Companion.

"Today, Chemical Companion is more than just an information resource," Bennett said. "It has become a sophisticated decision-support system."

The application can provide important information regarding gas explosions, bomb threats, chemical spills or terrorist attacks to first responders to help save lives.