Emergency Services Now Utilise what3words Location Service

By what3words
Archived 1 Apr 2021 - Posted: 3 Feb 2021
The Emergency+ app displays a Triple Zero (000) caller’s current what3words address so they can easily give Australian emergency services their exact location and receive help quickly.

Australia’s emergency services have developed a free life-saving app, Emergency+, which helps people call the right emergency number and confirm their location. what3words is now available in this app, and emergency services in Australia accept and use what3words addresses to find Triple Zero (000) callers faster.

What is what3words? what3words in the Emergency + app is the easiest way to tell Triple Zero (000) exactly where you need help. It has divided the world into 3 metre squares and given each one a unique three word identifier.

For example ///daytime.driver.banner identifies a precise location along the Henry Parkes Way in New South Wales. It means Triple Zero (000) callers can confirm their exact location quickly and easily, by saying 3 words to the call handler.

How it works

In the Emergency + app
When you open the Emergency+ app, you’ll see a series of icons for different emergency services in your area. Tap on the relevant icon for your emergency; you’ll get connected to a Triple Zero (000) call taker. When they ask for your location, read out the 3 words displayed at the bottom of your screen in the ‘My Location’ section. Help will then be sent to that exact what3words location.

In the what3words app
Open the what3words app, wait for the blue dot to stabilise to ensure you have the most accurate what3words address, then tap the Locate Me icon – it’s an arrow on iPhones and a target on Android devices. Dial Triple Zero (000) and read the 3 words on your screen to the call taker. They’ll know exactly where to send help.

Ambulance Tasmania was the first to use what3words to rescue an injured hiker back in April 2020, and has continued to prove useful in emergencies Craig Garraway, St John NT’s Emergency Communication Center Manager said ‘We used the technology to locate a patient who had fallen on a walking track in Alice Springs – it meant dispatching a paramedic via helicopter quickly and easily. It’s a valuable and simple tool to use for emergency services, particularly when locating patients in rural or remote areas’.

Having a simple way to communicate exact locations is useful beyond emergencies. People are using what3words addresses to report infrastructure damage, save the location of the best food trucks in town, and navigate to exact meet-up spots. To discover, share and save what3words addresses, download the free app.

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