National week of action to help people #KnowExactlyWhere

National week of action to help people #KnowExactlyWhere

EMAS Derbyshire callout. An ambulance with the 3 words ///ivory.elastic.plot DERBS,UK above it.

From today, Monday 27 July, East Midlands Ambulance Service will be taking part in #KnowExactlyWhere week with emergency services, local authorities and organisations around the UK to raise awareness about the free what3words app - and how it can be used to save precious time, resources and lives in an emergency.

what3words has divided the world into a grid of 3m x 3m squares.  It has given each square a unique combination of three words - a what3words address. ///tortoises.swarm.announce, for example, will take you to a precise location on Ben Nevis where in February 2020 a group of hikers were rescued. The app is free to download for both iOS and Android and works entirely offline – making it ideal for use in areas of the UK with an unreliable data connection. what3words can also be used via the online map at what3words.com. The technology is available in over 40 languages, including Welsh, and can be used anywhere in the world. 

‘Where’s the emergency?’ is one of the first questions you are asked when calling 999. But saying exactly where you are can be challenging. Emergencies can happen anywhere, from a remote beach in Scotland, to the side of the M1, to the middle of Hyde Park. Services often can’t detect where you are automatically and dropped pins are difficult to explain over the phone. Landmark-based descriptions are prone to errors and GPS coordinates are long and difficult to communicate. At best, this is a frustrating drain on resources. At worst, it can mean the difference between life and death. 

EMAS has been using what3words since December. It has been used a number of times to help us to ensure our resources are sent exactly where help is needed, fast. 

Richard Hunter, Ambulance Operations Manager from East Midlands Ambulance Service said:

‘‘It can cost precious time trying to locate a caller, shaving minutes, even seconds, can dramatically change the outcome of an emergency. Our utilisation of what3words has proven to be invaluable when getting to our casualties, especially falls or walking injuries. This summer, with lots more people having staycations, we’re asking the public to download the app to help us find them should they need help, whether they’re in a camp site, in the peak district or at the coast. Not only might it save your life one day, but it could save someone else’s."

For more information, visit the what3words website.