ISO vehicle propulsion symbols

ISO 17840: The First Worldwide Firefighter´s Standard

Shorten the "Golden Hour" - learn to quickly identify energy source and hidden hazards on any vehicle

Bus with ISO compliant stickers to identify propulsion source

Bus with ISO compliant stickers to identify propulsion source

Knowing the how energy is stored inside  a vehicle could mean the difference between a successful operation - and a potentially unexpected explosion, gas leak, fire plume or deadly electrocution.

Know before you approach!

Today, the propulsion energy type,  and other power sources inside of a vehicle are often not visible from a distance.

With more and more alternative fuels and propulsion systems entering the market, more knowledge and more preparation is necessary before approaching an accident scene safely than ever before.

In order address all new and existing safety hazards associated with road rescue and vehicle fires & accidents, CTIF has worked with ISO to create the international safety standard ISO 17840. 

 

Why is this important?

ISO 17840 LogoApproaching a new electric or hybrid vehicle can be quite different compared to dealing with traditional propulsion technology like gasoline or diesel. The energy stored in any vehicle could pose a risk both  to your team and to the public, and this creates a need for first and second responders to quickly find information which can guide them in how to proceed safely.

Propane and LPG powered vehicles can explode much more powerfully when tanks are heated. Fire plumes can also occur when pressure valves are released, and fuel bottles can become projectiles travelling a kilometre or more from the accident site, if the correct procedure is not followed. This can not only put first responders are severe risk, but also pose serious threats to the public.

How to tow - from the example ERG

Electric and hybrid vehicles all have high voltage batteries and electrical wiring that can electrocute first / second responders and victims if cut incorrectly during extrication or if not disarmed properly before towing.

Hydrogen and other fuel cells produce toxic and flammable gases which can behave different from gasoline or other traditional fuels.

Please observe that the standard includes rescue information and placards for new / alternative propulsion systems (power sources) which may not be visible when approaching a vehicle from a distance.

The information available in the ISO 17840 standard is not only useful for fire services, but essential information for everyone involved in the response chain, including towing companies, repair shops, insurance companies and more.

 

Mikko Saastamoinen became Firefighter of the Year in Finland 2020 for his work on implementing the ISO 17840 standard.

Mikko Saastamoinen became Firefighter of the Year in Finland 2020 for his work on implementing the ISO 17840 standard. In order to get a head start, and to set an example in the community, Finland´s rescue authority SPEK started by adding ISO propulsion identification placards to the fire services´ own emergency vehicles. Soon after, bus and transport companies followed.

What does the standard consist of? 

The ISO standard 17840 can be used worldwide by public transport sector, fire and rescue services,  automotive and heavy duty vehicle sector, and consists of: 

1. “Symbols”  indicating which propulsion energy is used and where tanks, batteries, etc. are located in the vehicle;  

2. “Rescue Sheets” (quick info about the construction of the vehicle) used by first and second responders;

3. “Emergency Response Guides”  (ERGs) containing in-depth information (with the same headlines as the rescue sheets). 

 

The ISO 17840 Standard can be applied on all types of vehicles

 

- Private

- Commercial

- Light or Heavy Duty

 

Illustration of where to cut a personal car - from the ERG example

 

 

 

Energy Identification Placards: Where to get them and where to place them

ISO stickers for Alternative PropulsionSymbols for Energy Propulsion Identification -  printed and displayed as placards on heavy vehicles

All who approach an accident scene or a vehicle fire need to first be able to first identity the propulsion system, and secondly to understand the energy distribution within the vehicle body before any rescue attempts can be made safely.

For all heavy vehicles, there are already Propulsion Type Placards developed and ready to be printed and implemented, using the especially developed symbols.

 

ISO 17840 Logo

 

Where to place ISo energy ID stickers on a busAs an operator of public transit, road coaches or  buses simply order the Energy Identification stickers pertaining to your various types of vehicles (electric, hybrid, LPG, LNG, diesel etc) and download our transport vehicle ISO guide for where to properly place them on your vehicles.

As an operator of transport vehicles or other heavy vehicles, make a list of what different fuels (gas, diesel, LGN, LPG, electric etc) your vehicles use, and order the stickers that pertain to your vehicles.

Please download our heavy vehicle ISO guide for how to properly print and place the placards on your vehicles. 

Aerial view: 

We have also included guides for how to place stickers on the roof of vehicles to they can be identified by air, by either drones or or manned aircraft in case of an accident. Below is an example of an aerial view of heavy duty semi-truck equipped with energy identification placards. 

Drone view of a heavy vehicle with ISO stickers

 

If you have the means to install e-call systems or other automated systems which could aid first and second responders in the event of an accident, contact  the fire & rescue services in your area, and discuss how to best interact with fire service equipment and technology.

 

EuroRescue: All rescue information for personal cars in one app

The Euro Rescue app for smart phones

For most personal cars on the market, there are already Rescue Sheets available, and one of the best ways to  access them is to download the free of charge Official Eurorescue app for smartphones and tablets, developed in cooperation with CTIF. 

The app offers most of the rescue sheets for cars sold in Europe, available in a few short clicks. 

 

Download free the EuroRescue App

 

Example of a rescue sheet for a car

 

There are also many other sources online for accessing Rescue Sheets for common car makes, both within and outside of Europe.

In the future, CTIF and Euro NCAP are expecting to partner with industry to develop radio beacon systems which will transpond vital rescue information, such as propulsion type and extrication information, directly to the first / second responders smartphones or tablets. 

Information for OEMs and Manufacturers: Rescue Sheets and ERGs

ISO 17840 LogoISO 17840 compliant Rescue Sheets are developed by the manufacturer of any vehicle and should be made available for each model and modification. This is especially important for heavy vehicles where information is currently not available in the Euro Rescue App. 

A rescue sheet follows in principle a flowchart for the main actions of the first and second responders arriving at an accident scene, or performing towing and other activities afterwards.

Download a guide for how to create a rescue sheet

download a guide for how to use Rescue Sheets

Example from a rescue sheet: 

Example of a rescue sheet for a bus

 

Emergency Response Guides (ERGs) are guides from the manufacturer, describing the specific information, cautions and warnings necessary for each vehicle, which local fire departments and regions can use to base their development of their their own response plans.

Without the vital rescue information from the manufacturer of the vehicle, first responders are often left guessing how to approach in an accident situation, which can lead to serious risks both to staff and the public. While a first responder is not responsible for making the ERGs, it can be useful to know at least some examples of how heavy vehicle ERGs should be designed.

 

Part of a Rescue Sheet for a heavy vehicle, from the example ERG

 

If you are a decision maker or an officer in your organization, familiarizing yourself with ERGs can help you become more informed about their uses, should you become involved with decision makers and policy makers in your local industry or government.

We will therefore provide guides for how to make ERGs, and some examples of finished ERGs made by some of the first ´pioneers´to use the ISO 17849 standard within the heavy transport sector.

 

Contact the CTIF ISO 17840 Work group

 

Normative model for the Emergency Response Guide

 

The Emergency Guide can relate to a specific vehicle model, to a family of comparable vehicle models or to a certain type of vehicle technology.

The model for the Emergency Guide offers a convenient template for entering the following necessary and useful information:

relevant information for a vehicle involved in a traffic accident (including immobilization, elimination of hazards, access to the occupants, safety procedures, handling of stored propulsion energy);

• information in case of fire or submersion;

• information about towing, transport and storage.

 

ISO 17840 LogoUniform rescue and safety instructions

The information should be structured in a similar way throughout all the various information channels, so that care emergency responders can quickly identify where the battery is located, what color the live cables are, etc.

Keep in mind there can be many types of energy sources inside of a new vehicle. Even though the main propulsion energy (fuel type) on an EV is electric, there could be other combustion based energy systems for heating, defrosting, etc. Know all potential hazards before you approach!

That is why the information sheets (the “Rescue Sheets”) always have the same structure and layout with the necessary information, uniform icons and standardized colors.

In the third part of the standard (ISO 17840-3) an especially designed model is proposed for the Emergency Response Guide. This specifies how the more extensive information, aligned to the Rescue Sheet, should be structured. 

 

Fire services: How to get involved

An ISO propulsion identification sticker being added to a fire vehicle in Finland.
An ISO propulsion identification sticker being added to a fire vehicle in Finland. 

 

ISO 17840 LogoContact the CTIF Implementation Working Group for ISO 17840 and we will guide you and help you every step of the way. Here are some hints on what you can do on a local level to get started:

1. Use the ISO stickers on your emergency vehicles

For a fire station, the first step could be to put energy propulsion stickers on your fleet of emergency vehicles. 

To mark your own vehicles in the fire service with ISO stickers is not necessarily for your own benefit - since you probably know what fuel your vehicle runs on already -  but rather leading by example and to create buzz and publicity for the ISO standard in your community.

Also, familiarize yourself with the way Rescue Sheets and Emergency Response Guides for heavy vehicles are designed. By studying them in advance, you will know how to read them when you need to act fast in the future.

 

2. Approach public transit, buses and transport companies in your area

  The next step is to approach public transit operators, transport companies and especially those public and commercial carriers you know are using alternative fuels. Impress them with the need for you as a fireservice to know the fuel type in order to rescue their crews and passengers safely if there is an accident.

A detail from a rescue sheet

 

3. Contact politicians and public servants involved in transport and logistics

Decision makers in your area need to made aware that you need the ISO propulsion identification stickers to be used in your region, in order to carry out vehicle rescue, respond to vehicle fires and safely protect the public. These decision makers can in turn help through legislation and by influencing vehicle manufacturers and those involved in modifying vehicles to start adding the stickers already at the time of construction.

Manufacturers (and modifiers) of vehicles also need to be made aware of the other parts of the standard, which involves their part in creating Rescue Sheets and Emergency Response Guides.  These are documents made by manufacturers to further assist the fire & rescue services in safe operations,  by showing how each model and make of any given vehicle needs to be approached safely in the event if a fire or an accident.

 

ISO 17840 Logo

 

Information packages and downloads

Information package, front pageOur downloadable information packages are available in 24 different languages.

The links below will take you to our Google drive. Pick your preferred language in the list and it will take you to the information package for the vehicle class you choose.

We have created three information packages, one for Public Transport Vehicles, one for Heavy Duty Vehicles and one also for First Responder Vehicles. 

This work this have been done with the help of the worldwide firefighting community in collaboration with industry.

 

ISO 17840 Logo

 

ISO 17840 Information package for PUBLIC TRANSPORt vehicles 

ISO 17840 information package for heavy duty vehicles

ISO 17840 information package for First Responder Vehicles 

 

Special thanks to the worldwide translators from the fire community and industry:

Italian: Marco Aimo Boot ;Polish: Slawek Dechnik; Danish: Henrik Paulsen; Finnish: Mikko Saastamoinen; Portuguese: Antonio José M.N. Calinas; Czech: Jakub Klucho; Nordic: Svein Thelin Knutsen; Japanese: T Marty; Spanish: Carles Comeche Cuenca; Hungarian: Attila Fuchs; Chinese: Se Chen; Persian: Ali Zayerzadeh; Croatian: Kristian Bernatovic; Bulgarian: Asen Sapundzhiev; Romanian: Moghilas George Eugen; Greek: Kimon-Alexander Pantelides; Korean:  HyungEun Lee; Swedish: Björn Ulfsson / Tore Eriksson; Arabic: Ahmed Aly (more to come)

Special thanks to Shan Raffel for all his support in coordinating our translation efforts in South East Asia! 

 

Commercial downloads - Buy the Standard

Commercial Downloads:  All the four ISO 17840 packages with everything needed to commercially implement the standard can be accessed by purchasing the commercially available ISO 17840 packages from SIS.se.

The purchasing price for the various parts of the standard has been set to a reasonable, low symbolic amount. Once purchased, the elements of the standard can be used freely throughout your jurisdiction. The symbolic price was made possible thanks to a special agreement between CTIF, SIS and ISO.

Please note that the standard is sold on SIS.se,  outside of the ISO website. This is in order to make the packages more accessible for those not familiar with the ISO website.
Please also note that SIS lists their prices in Swedish crowns, which are roughly 10 SEK for one Euro. 100 SEK = 10 Euros.

 

ISO 17840 Logo

 

ISO 17840 Part 1 Road vehicles - Information for first and second responders - Part 1: Rescue sheet for passenger cars and light commercial vehicles.

ISO 17840-1:2015 defines the content and the layout of the rescue sheet providing necessary and useful information about a vehicle involved in an accident to support the rescue team extricating the occupants as fast and as safe as possible.

ISO 17840 Part 2 Road vehicles - Information for first and second responders - Part 2: Rescue sheet for buses, coaches and heavy commercial vehicles.

This document defines the content and the layout of the rescue sheet providing necessary and useful information about a vehicle involved in an accident/incident to support the rescue team in rescuing the vehicle occupants as quickly and safely as possible. This document is applicable to buses, coaches and heavy commercial vehicles according to ISO 3833.

ISO 17840 Part 3 Road vehicles - Information for first and second responders - Part 3: Emergency response guide template.

This document defines the template layout of the Emergency Response Guide (ERG) providing necessary and useful information about a vehicle involved in an accident to support the rescue team rescuing the occupants as quickly and as safely as possible, and to promote the correct action with respect to the vehicle technology concerned. The ERG also provides in-depth information related to fire, submersion and leakage of fluids. The ERG contains crucial and in-depth information linked to the rescue sheet (ISO 17840 parts 1 and 2), to inform training and development of rescue procedures.

ISO 17840 Part 4 Road vehicles - Information for first and second responders - Part 4: Propulsion energy identification. 

This document defines the labels and related colours for indication of the fuel and/or energy sources including hybrid drive lines. The document provides a uniform scheme for identification of the fuel and/or energy used for the propulsion of of a road vehicle. It also provides a way to communicate hazards to first responders. The document is applicable to passenger cars, buses, coaches, and light & heavy vehicles according to ISO 3833.  

 

ISO 17840 Logo

 

Educational Use - Free downloads for fire services
Links to useful documents

Downloadable files and documents:

Promotional Photos - Free to Use with Photo Credit to CTIF.org:

Background & history of the ISO 17840 Standard

Act Locally - Think Globally - with worldwide standards made by firefighters in cooperation with industry

ISO 17840 LogoCTIF and Euro NCAP has participated in an international collaboration with SIS to develop an international standard, the transport sector's ISO standard 17840 "Rescue Information". 

The work began in 2012 through a proposal from France and Germany on a standardized layout of the "Rescue Sheets" insert card for passenger vehicles and light commercial transport vehicles. 

The project was formalized in 2014 and the work has now been completed since 2019. ISO 17840 also includes a system of placards for exterior marking of fuel types for buses and other heavy vehicles, including new propulsion types like electric vehicle, hybrids and various types om compressed or liquid natural gas propulsion.

What we wish to achieve is a discussion with all countries and transport companies about an implementation on both local, national and international levels, and by contacting CTIF or Euro NCAP, rest assured that we will be able to guide you every step of the way towards implementing both the free aspects the program, and with getting access to the placards for marking your vehicle fleet. 

Belgium is one of the countries that have introduced the standard and this article will describe this work more in detail and also show practical examples.

A project that is closely linked to this is the work that EURO NCAP has initiated. In 2018, CTIF´s cooperation with Euro NCAP was intensified, and Euro NCAP is currently finalizing a project to provide free downloads of all rescue sheets for passenger cars sold in Europe,  as well as developing a database with an associated smart phone app for storing the rescue sheets. 

The app was made freely available for first and second responders and was fully developed for distribution in June 2020. 

In the next phase of ISO 17840, the intent is to create technology where each vehicle will be able to automatically send relevant rescue information to responders in the event of an accident and associated rescue efforts.

The Belgian representatives in CTIF's Commission for Extrication and New Technology made an exceptional contribution to this significant project. Major Tom Van Esbroeck, who has been seconded to the KCCE as a part-time expert since 2009, is the current chairman of the Commission. Firefighter Kurt Vollmacher from the Fire & Rescue Region ‘Centrum’ was the project leader for ISO until late 2020.

 

A detail from a rescue sheet

Uniform rescue and safety instructions

The constructors were also involved in the process and cooperated to determinate agreements on standardized safety sheets.

"We wanted the information to be structured in the same way, so that care emergency responders  can quickly identify where the battery is located, what color the cable is etc...",says  Major Tom Van Esbroeck.

That is why the information sheets (the “Rescue Sheets”) always have the same structure and layout with the necessary information, uniform icons and standardized colors.

In the third part of the standard (ISO 17840-3) an especially designed model is proposed for the Emergency Response Guide. This specifies how the more extensive information, aligned to the Rescue Sheet, must be structured. 

 

                              Normative model for the Emergency Response Guide (source ISO 17840)

 

 

The guide is provided both on paper and in electronic form.

The model for the Emergency Response Guide basically follows a flow chart for the main actions of the first and second  responders who arrive at the scene of the accident, or who subsequently carry out towing and other activities.

The Emergency Guide can relate to a specific vehicle model, to a family of comparable vehicle models or to a certain type of vehicle technology.

The model for the Emergency Guide offers a convenient template for entering the following necessary and useful information:

• relevant information for a vehicle involved in a traffic accident (including immobilization, elimination of hazards, access to the occupants, safety procedures, handling of stored propulsion energy);

• information in case of fire or submersion;

• information about towing, transport and storage.

 

Increasing the intervention speed, safety and efficiency

The time between the moment an accident occurs and when the victim can be treated in the hospital directly influences the chances of survival of the victim and should be kept as short as possible. 

"That is why it is important for the emergency services upon arrival at the scene of an accident to have as quickly as possible a clear picture of which energy source the impacted vehicle uses",  says Major Tom Van Esbroeck.

 

Fuel types

 

"In addition to gasoline and diesel vehicles, there are more and more vehicles with alternative energy sources such as LPG, CNG, or hydrogen, and hybrid vehicles with different energy sources. Each energy source requires a specific approach of the fire fighters, as well as specific equipment."

 “Not only the firefighters, but also the towing and storage services are asking for clear procedures. That is why, in addition to the manufactures and the fire services, other parties must also participate in this debate, such as insurance companies, towing services, operators of parking garages, recycling companies, etc. ", says Kurt Vollmacher. 

 

Source: ISO 17840-4

In addition, the standard not only specifies the colors and dimensions but also where it must be applied onto the various types of vehicles. There has also been some forward thinking, because there is also attention for the readability from the air by drones, for example. 

 

Local training and  implementation

Training on this subject is provided at the fire services and at the De Lijn, TEC, etc. At the local level, the City of Ghent, Ivago (disposing of the largest CNG fleet in Belgium) and the Fire Department Zone Centrum have joined forces to set a good example by providing the energy icons on their vehicles.

 

Euro Ncap project

In order to further implement the ISO standard, there is a second project in collaboration with EURO N-Cap, the European organization who awards the safety stars to vehicles through its "European New Car Assessment Program". A database and accompanying Apps has been developed, which include the "rescue sheets" for all passenger cars sold on the European market. These Apps are available for free for all first and second responders. 

“In the next phase, the vehicle could be able to electronically send this information to the emergency services”, says Euro NCAP project leader Lt Colonel Michel Gentilleau.

 

Memorandum with transport companies

De Lijn, STIB / MIVB and the Federation of Belgian Bus and Coach Companies (FBAA) have committed themselves to apply  these international symbols onto their vehicles.

The UITP (International Association of Public Transport- uitp.org) with 1600 members in 99 countries also signed an MOU in April 2019.

 

The signing of the UITP Memorandum

UITP leaders, CTIF president Tore Eriksson and the president of CTIF Extrication & New Technology Commission Tom Van Esbroeck at the meeting in Casablanca in April 2019 , where the memorandum of understanding was signed between the two organizations,  with to goal to implement the new ISO firefighting standard. (Picture UITP)

 

The organization wants to widely spread the knowledge of ISO 17840. This also shows how national MOUs between ministries, transport companies and emergency services can accelerate the implementation of the ISO standard when investing in new vehicles. A task force was set up to achieve this.

The organization provides information packages that can help organizations and companies to implement the ISO series.

Furthermore, there is a desire to exert influence in European and international associations such as Clepa,   IRU and international organizations in Geneva, especially the working group GRSG within UNECE.

 

Award

During the official signing ceremony of the MOU (Memorandum of Understanding) in November 2018, Kurt Vollmacher received an award by CTIF from the President, Mr Tore Eriksson.

He earned this for his strong dedication and hard work as project leader of the strategic ISO 17840 project.

 

Shut off diagrams

 

Initiative

7 years ago, both representatives set up in the fire department of Ghent, together step by step the basic principles of this ‘ISO project on Rescue information’ in Belgium.

Tom has managed the tactical part and Kurt the technical part of the work during the development of these standards.

The initial idea, which was to give the fire fighters better information on the field, has now  growing into a worldwide project.

Thanks to KCCE,  and later with the support of  CTIF,  the project expanded onto an international level, in consultation with the other members of their Commission and in close cooperation with the global vehicle industry.

CTIF is delighted that the Belgian expertise has been given a place in the spotlight within this important international context.

The full ISO 17840 information will be included in the different training levels of the basic training for the new firefighters, as well as in the expert training for already experienced firefighters, in the context of Technical Rescue.

The initiative fitted in perfectly with the philosophy of the Commission. The fire services don’t want to be the last party in the safety chain to be confronted with unknown risks they are not prepared for,  and are  therefore actively demanding to be involved in technology and energy transition right from the start.

After achieving the first hurdle by realizing the identification of the vehicles themselves, the remaining parts of the standards have now been realized. 

 

Future work areas

“The ISO standard could easily be further developed into information about trams, trains and planes, which also increase the use of specific energy carriers.

With regard to the installations themselves, there are also many possibilities in the long run: just to name a few: an “all-in-one” rescue key to interrupt the electrical power or gas supply.

A communication between vehicles and emergency services based on the V2V protocol in which data such as GPS coordinates, brand and type, energy source, number of people, position of the vehicle, etc. are transmitted. ”, project leaders Tom Van Esbroeck and Kurt Vollmacher conclude.

 

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Press & Testimonials

ISO 17840 LogoFinland first among Nordic countries to implementMikko Saastamoinen awarded "Firefighter of the Year" in Finland for his work on implementing the CTIF-ISO 17840 standard  ISO 17840 

A bus operator in Helsinki, Pohjolan Liikenne, was the first commercial bus company to add stickers to their fleet. The City of Lappeenranta then soon followed suit shortly after. The Finnish National CTIF Committee, together with its partners, released the ISO 17840 standard in Finland in early June 2020. However, the work for the publication began already in February when all necessary authorities, associations and other stakeholders were contacted.

 

Belgium first in the world to ISO stickers for Alternative Propulsionadapt the ISO 17840 standard

In November 2018 a MOU was signed between CTIF the Ministry of Interior in Belgium to intensify the cooperation in order to implement the ISO standards. 

CTIF also signed a MOU with UITP in April 2019.  The organisation was started 1885, and has 99 member countries with 1600 member companies. 

In November 2019 CTIF received Fireforums Special Award for the new ISO 17840 vehicle intervention standard. Major Tom van Esbroeck and previous project leader Kurt Vollmacher received the prestigious award on Nov 26 at Fireforum in Belgium.

 

Kurt Vollmacher with the CTIF Award from 2018CTIF gave a special achievement medal in 2018 for the work on new ISO standard

The Belgian representatives in CTIF's Commission for Extrication and New Technology made an exceptional contribution to this significant project. Major Tom Van Esbroeck, who has been seconded to the KCCE as a part-time expert since 2009, is the current chairman of the Commission. Firefighter Kurt Vollmacher was the project leader for ISO until 2020.

 

READ MORE NEWS ABOUT ISO 17840

 

Documents in PDF for download:

Emergency response on vehicles

Accident Involving Heavy vehicle powered by LNG 

Pre-Programmed Crumple Zones & Fortified Frame Constructions

Indianapolis gas cylinder explosion

Extrication from cars during road traffic accidents

 

ISO 17840 Logo

 

Bus with ISO compliant stickers to identify propulsion source

Bus with ISO compliant stickers to identify propulsion source

CTIF presents:

EuroRescue - All rescue information in one ISO-compliant app

Eure Rescue LogoThe Euro Rescue app for easy access to rescue sheets is now available free of charge for Android and iPhone. Euro Rescue gives first responders access to rescue sheets for common cars sold in Europe, including electric, hybrid and other alternative energy propulsion technologies. The app can be used both online and offline when there is no network coverage at the scene of a crash.READ MORE AND DOWNLOAD the Euro Rescue APP FROM EURO NCAP