FiRST/HazMat Evac Manuals
iOS
Android
FiRST/HazMat Evac FAQ
General
What is the difference between FiRST and HazMat Evac?
How can I get technical support?
Where can I find my FiRST ID?
The FiRST app shows that it was funded by DHS. If so, why is the application not free to federal users?
I have a suggestion for future functionality, how can I submit my suggestion?
Where can I get help with purchases from the ARA on-line store?
Purchase and Installation
Do I need to purchase the app multiple times if I have multiple devices?
How can I get the FiRST Flex Widgets?
Registration and Data Access
Why do you need registration information?
What do you do with my registration information?
I don’t have a .gov, .mil, or .us email address, how can I get access to the DHS Bomb Standoff Data?
I registered my application with a .gov, .mil, or .us email address, and I still don’t have access to the IED data. Why?
Why does my IED data access code work for one device, but not my other device?
I installed FiRST on a new device, but now my IED data access doesn’t work; why?
Can I use the Windows PC version of FiRST if my computer is not on a network?
Can I request modifications to get FiRST to access other data?
Incidents
Why when I run POIs do I not see any points? Why does the POI not show a location that I know exists?
How do I use locally stored road network data (ex. NAVTEQ data) with FiRST?
Can I save an incident on my mobile device and retrieve it later?
How can I get my FiRST app to show my location on the map?
Sharing Incidents
How do I share an incident with other FiRST users?
I want to join an organization with an FSS subscription, but I can’t find it. Why?
How do I know if I’ve been approved to join an FSS organizational account?
Sharing Service Accounts
I just purchased a Sharing Service subscription, but I haven’t received anything. Why?
Sharing Incident Data with External Systems
I posted an incident to an FSS organizational account and selected for it to be shared external to the organization; however, it is not. Why?
General
What is the difference between FiRST and HazMat Evac?
HazMat Evac was a commercial application that was released in early 2011. Subsequent to its release, FiRST was developed to support IED standoff, and capabilities available in HazMat Evac were integrated with FiRST. Since many existing users of HazMat Evac wanted to use new functionality of FiRST, we have essentially provided the two apps as identical applications. If you have one of the apps, you do not need the other.
How can I get technical support?
You can ask for assistance by submitting a ticket here (preferred) or by calling 919-582-3300 between 8:30 am and 5:00 pm ET.
Where can I find my FiRST ID?
Your FiRST ID is an 8-digit code that is unique to the device that FiRST is installed on. You can find the number on the registration screen or from a button off of that screen. You may need the FiRST ID for assistance in some registration or data access issues.
The FiRST app shows that it was funded by DHS. If so, why is the application not free to federal users?
DHS S&T provided funding support for much, but not all, of FiRST under a program that helps companies develop commercial capabilities for the First Responder market. There’s quite a bit of functionality DHS did not fund (hazmat capabilities, roadblock analysis, backend registration and delivery, etc.) and there are commitments to help with maintenance of the app. The FiRST application charges are used in the further development, maintenance, and administration of the FiRST Program.
I have a suggestion for future functionality, how can I submit my suggestion?
We are always interested in ideas that can assist in responder’s application of FiRST. There are two avenues for submitting suggestions; we would encourage you to submit to both:
- You can submit suggestions to the developers here.
- You can also identify US first responder capability gap suggestions through the TechSolutions Program of DHS. You can find out more at http://www.dhs.gov/st-tcr.
Where can I get help with purchases from the ARA on-line store?
ARA on-line store help can be found at http://store.ara.com/help.asp.
Purchase and Installation
Do I need to purchase the app multiple times if I have multiple devices?
Not necessarily. For mobile devices, any device associated/synced with the account (Google Play, iTunes, etc.) from which the application was purchased can install the application without an additional charge. For the Windows PC version, that license is per device, and a separate purchase would need to be made to install the application on additional computers.
How can I get the FiRST Flex Widgets?
Flex widgets are available for enterprise systems to create IED and Hazmat standoff zones, damage contours, and roadblocks to isolate road networks. Contact us here for more information.
Registration and Data Access
Why do you need registration information?
Information provided for registration or associated with the FiRST Sharing Service (FSS) accounts is only used for purposes of administering the FiRST program. These include:
- Use in validating user access to some capabilities and data. For example, DHS IED standoff is automatically provided to users that register with a .mil, .gov, or .us email address (see the next question to understand how to get this data without a specific email). Registration and the validation of email accounts ensure this data is appropriately accessible.
- Use in adjudicating requests to join FSS organizations.
- Displayed as part of the incident details for any incident posted to the FSS.
- Information posted to the FSS will reflect the registered name and primary email address of the user posting the incident.
What do you do with my registration information?
Information collected from registrations is not used for any purpose unrelated to the FiRST program and is not sold or provided to organizations unrelated to the FiRST program. See the question above to understand what the information is used for.
I don’t have a .gov, .mil, or .us email address, how can I get access to the DHS Bomb Standoff Data?
If you are one of the many responders, emergency managers, security personnel and local government officials that do not have an email address that automatically grants access to DHS Bomb Standoff Data, you can request access through the FiRST app by selecting “Request Data Access”. This option is only available after you validate your registration email. Information provided in this request, including your registration information, is provided to personnel authorized to grant access to this data. In certain circumstances, you will receive an alert or email when access is granted. Otherwise, the application will automatically provide access when access is granted and the user has network connectivity. If you have requested access and have not received a response indicating your access rights, please contact us here.
I registered my application with a .gov, .mil, or .us email address, and I still don’t have access to the IED data. Why?
Registration of the FiRST application is a 2-step process. After you submit information from the registration dialog, a validation email is sent to your primary and alternate email addresses. Users must select the link in the validation email to complete their registration. Only after the email address is validated will data access rights be granted for that registered application. If you do not have the validation email, first check your spam folder to see if the email was identified as spam, and if not, request a new validation email through the registration dialog.
Why does my IED data access code work for one device, but not my other device?
Access to data and capabilities is granted on a per-device basis. Separate requests for access must be processed for each device.
I installed FiRST on a new device, but now my IED data access doesn’t work; why?
Access to data is provided based on the applications FiRST ID. If you install the application on a new device, that device will have its own FiRST ID. As such, a new request for data access must be processed.
Can I use the Windows PC version of FiRST if my computer is not on a network?
Not being on a network will limit the capabilities of the FiRST app. If you would like to place FiRST on an isolated network, please contact FiRST Technical Support here to review what is possible and how we can accommodate the request.
Can I request modifications to get FiRST to access other data?
The Windows PC version of FiRST allows users to use locally stored road network data. Use of other data is not inherently part of the FiRST application. However, the FiRST program office is always interested in making FiRST more useful. If you would like to access other data, please contact FiRST Technical Support here.
Incidents
Why when I run POIs do I not see any points? Why does the POI not show a location that I know exists?
If you have an incident placed on the map and select Run POI, the FiRST app runs a Google Search query for these keywords: police, fire, hospitals, schools, and government.

This query is run at multiple zoom levels to ensure POIs close to the incident and POIs within the map field of view are displayed. The POI functionality only displays what is returned from Google. If no results are shown, then no Google results were found. Points not shown when expected or points shown that don’t exist in actuality are a reflection of Google results.
How do I use locally stored road network data (ex. NAVTEQ data) with FiRST?
The Windows PC version lets you switch between using the Census Bureau’s TIGER database hosted on ARA’s network (the default), or local a road network data source. Navigate to the Options tab and select Roadblock Preferences. On the Roadblock Preferences dialog, select the Local option and then click Browse to locate your road network files. FiRST currently supports roadblock analysis using local data in the Shapefile format.
Can I save an incident on my mobile device and retrieve it later?
Unlike the Window PC version of FiRST that allows users to locally save and open incidents, mobile apps are not provided that capability. However, all FiRST users that join an organization with an FSS subscription, and have been provided posting privileges from that organizational administrator can post incidents to FSS. Once posted to FSS, incidents can be retrieved and operate as if the user created the incident on their device. See Sharing Service for more detail.
How can I get my FiRST app to show my location on the map?
For mobile users, if you go to Options/Map Options (iOS) or Menu/Map Options (Android), there is a toggle to turn display of the user’s location on or off. The Windows PC version of FiRST does not have location services.
Sharing Incidents
How do I share an incident with other FiRST users?
There are two ways to share incidents with others:
1. FiRST users can share incident data that is accessible by other FiRST users by using the FiRST Sharing Service. Users must join a FSS organizational account to post and retrieve incidents. Joining of an organization account is done from the initial FiRST screen under Options (iOS)/Menu (Android)/Sharing Service (Windows PC), FiRST Sharing Service, Join Organizations. Organizations wishing to establish a FSS Organizational Account should see Sharing Service for more details.
2. If users have an incident defined on their map, they can select Options (iOS)/Menu (Android)/Sharing Service (Windows PC) and Email Incident. This option will generate an email that includes a text summary of the incident, an image of the map with the incident, and the GIS file attachments (shape and kml) of everything placed on the map. Users can edit the email before sending. Recipients of the email do not need, nor can they access, the email data from within the FiRST app.
I want to join an organization with an FSS subscription, but I can’t find it. Why?
Organizations with FSS subscriptions can choose to display their organization information publicly or to keep it hidden. If you do not see the organization that you would like to join and you have verified that they have an FSS subscription, then ask the organization for their FSS organizational subscription code. This code is unique for each organization. From the Join Organization dialog in the FiRST application, users can type the organizational account number and request joining the organizational account.
How do I know if I’ve been approved to join an FSS organizational account?
If you are approved to join an organization, you should receive a notification of your approval or disapproval through your mobile device notification service and via email to your registered email address. You can verify your organizational status from the initial FiRST screen by selecting Options (iOS)/Menu (Android)/Sharing Service (Windows PC), FiRST Sharing Service, My Organizations. Organizations that you belong to will be shown. Further inquiries regarding joining an organization should be directed to the organizational contact listed on the Join Organization dialog.
Sharing Service Accounts
I just purchased a Sharing Service subscription, but I haven’t received anything. Why?
First, make sure you have not received information via email that was caught by a SPAM filter by reviewing your email Junk folder. Second, purchases from the ARA store (Windows PC applications and FSS subscriptions) are checked against a commerce service to ensure that we do not sell to anyone or to any country on a “do not sell” list. Additionally, we verify the appropriate sales tax is charged for all purchases. Because of these checks, sales are not automatically processed. If you do not receive information to download the FiRST app or access your FSS account within 24 hours, please contact us here.
Sharing Incident Data with External Systems
I posted an incident to an FSS organizational account and selected for it to be shared external to the organization; however, it is not. Why?
Users can request their incidents to be shared external to an organization when they post the incident. However, control over exactly where that data is shared and the maximum length of time the incident can be shared is controlled by the organization’s FiRST Sharing Service organizational administrator. Further inquiries regarding data sharing should be directed to the FSS organizational administrator.