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Fact Sheet
Wireless Information System for Emergency Responders (WISER®)

two images of personal digital assistants or PDAs

WISER ( (Wireless Information System for Emergency Responders) is an application designed to assist first responders in hazardous material incidents. It is available for Microsoft Windows™ platforms (both PCs and Windows Mobile devices) and Palm OS mobile devices. A web-based WISER (WebWISER supports web browsers for both PCs and PDAs, including BlackBerry and iPhone.

Developed by the National Library of Medicine (NLM), WISER provides a wide range of information on hazardous substances, including chemical identification support, physical characteristics, human health information, and containment and suppression information.

When handling hazardous material incidents, first responders in general, and Hazmat (hazardous materials) units in particular, must make many decisions quickly. They need accurate information about the hazardous substances, the emergency resources available, and the surrounding environmental conditions. WISER can assist in the identification of an unknown substance and, once the substance is identified, provide guidance on immediate actions necessary to save lives and protect the environment.

Features of WISER

  • Rapid access to the most important information about a hazardous substance
  • Mobile support, providing responders with critical information in the palm of their hand
  • Comprehensive decision support, including assistance in identification of an unknown substance and, once identified, guidance on immediate actions necessary to save lives and protect the environment
  • Identify unknowns based on signs/symptoms, physical properties, transport (DOT placard and/or type of rail car or road trailer), substance categories, and NFPA 704 placards
  • Access to the National Library of Medicine's Hazardous Substances Data Bank (HSDB®), containing detailed, peer-reviewed information on hazardous substances
  • Intuitive, simple, and logical user interface developed by working with experienced first responders
  • Visualization of isolation/protective distance zones on an interactive map
  • Radiological support, including data for 20 radioisotopes and a general "ionizing radiation" substance, and tools/reference materials for radiological incidents
  • Biological support, including substance data for Class A biological agents, and tools/reference materials
  • General tools and reference materials, including an electronic version of the ERG 2008 with powerful search capabilities
  • Improved, more powerful search capability of the substance list, including wildcard feature
  • Substance categories support: filter the substance list by categories such as the classes/divisions of the Hazard Classification System. Identify unknown substances and group the results list by substance categories
  • Enhanced printing support (WISER for Windows): print any/all data for a substance

Coming soon:

  • Mapping integration enhancements, and include in other platforms (WebWISER)
  • ERG integration enhancements
  • Enhancements to the substance category features
  • Improved WISER for Windows user interface, including substance comparison support
  • More user customization
  • Collaboration: wireless communications to enable data sharing between WISER users
  • Enhanced search capabilities for identification of unknown substances
  • Standalone support for additional mobile platforms
  • And more! Let us know what's important to you

WISER is a project of the Specialized Information Services Division (SIS) of the NLM. WISER is available for download at

For more information, please use the Contact Us page of the WISER web site, or contact:

Specialized Information Services
National Library of Medicine
Two Democracy Plaza, Suite 510
6707 Democracy Boulevard, MSC 5467
Bethesda, MD 20892-5467
Telephone: (301) 496-1131
FAX: (301) 480-3537

A complete list of NLM Fact Sheets is available at:
(alphabetical list)
(subject list):

Or write to:

Office of Communications and Public Liaison
National Library of Medicine
8600 Rockville Pike
Bethesda, Maryland 20894

Phone: (301) 496-6308
Fax: (301) 496-4450