The UK’s emergency services have urged people to download a new location app that can help control room staff to identify the exact location of an emergency incident.
One of the biggest challenges facing control room staff is being able to pinpoint the exact location of where to send emergency resources.
For example, if a motorist comes across a collision in an area they are not familiar with, then vital minutes can be lost as the caller tries to work out where they are.
Image credit: Dean Buttery, EMT (EEAST) – Waveney
A spokesperson for the East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust said:
‘The East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust (EEAST) is urging everyone to download a life-saving app.
‘Three random words generated by this app could save your life if you need help quickly and don’t know where you are.
‘The what3words app has divided the world into 3m x 3m squares with a unique three-word address.
‘It can accurately pinpoint your location in an emergency and is free to download for both iOS and Android, or by browser.
‘It also works offline, making it ideal for use in areas with an unreliable data connection’.
Nicholas Jones, senior ambulance operations centre manager, has rolled out the use of the app across all three ambulance operation centres.
“In an emergency situation, identifying exactly where help is needed is crucial, this can be nearly impossible if you are in an area with no address or if that address isn’t good enough to accurately describe where you are.
“The app is free, and you don’t need a signal to use it.
“It’s great for walkers, ramblers, cyclists and anyone going off the beaten track.
“We have used it for patients in a variety of situations, including in forests, someone who fell from a cliff and also someone in an unrouted area.
“You never know when you are going to need help; it’s not something you plan for, so download it now.”
The London Fire Brigade has also confirmed that a user of the app recently used its location services in order to pinpoint the exact location of a bin fire.
The app will undoubtedly be a game-changer for emergency services personnel as they will be able to pinpoint the location of anyone who uses the app in order to reveal their location.
Chris Sheldrick, co-founder and CEO of what3words, said:
“Being in need of urgent help and not being able to easily describe where you are can be very distressing for the person involved and a really difficult situation for emergency services.
“Today people nearly always have their phone on them.
“Just as you may have your ‘In Case of Emergency contacts’ set up on your phone, we encourage everyone to download the app to make sure they are ready to quickly share accurate location information, should the worst happen.
“It’s free, it’s simple to use, and one day it might make sure you get the help you need, when you need it.”
The 55 emergency services which have confirmed they are using and accepting three-word addresses are:
- Avon & Somerset Police
- Bedfordshire Police
- British Transport Police
- Cambridgeshire Police
- Cleveland Police/li>
- Durham Police
- Essex Police
- Gwent Police
- Hertfordshire Police
- Humberside Police
- Kent Police
- Nottinghamshire Police
- Norfolk Police
- Northumbria Police
- North Yorkshire Police
- South Yorkshire Police
- South Wales Police
- Suffolk Police
- West Yorkshire Police
Fire & rescue
- Avon Fire & Rescue
- Bedfordshire Fire & Rescue
- Buckinghamshire Fire & Rescue
- Cambridgeshire Fire & Rescue
- Cleveland Fire & Rescue
- Cornwall Fire & Rescue
- Cheshire Fire & Rescue
- Cumbria Fire & Rescue
- Essex Fire & Rescue
- Derbyshire Fire & Rescue
- Devon & Somerset Fire & Rescue
- Dorset & Wiltshire Fire & Rescue
- Durham & Darlington Fire & Rescue
- Greater Manchester Fire & Rescue
- Hertfordshire Fire & Rescue
- Humberside Fire & Rescue
- Lancashire Fire & Rescue
- Nottinghamshire Fire & Rescue
- North Yorkshire Fire & Rescue
- Norfolk Fire & Rescue
- Northumberland Fire & Rescue
- Oxfordshire Fire & Rescue
- Royal Berkshire Fire & Rescue
- South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue
- Staffordshire Fire & Rescue
- Suffolk Fire & Rescue
- Tyne and Wear Fire & Rescue
- West Midlands Fire & Rescue
- West Yorkshire Fire & Rescue
- South Western Ambulance Service
- Yorkshire Ambulance Service
- South East Coast Ambulance Service
- East of England Ambulance Service
- Thames Valley Air Ambulance Service
- Yorkshire Air Ambulance
- UK Coastguard