Niagara residents asked to download app that can help emergency officials find your location

cell forst

Niagara residents are being asked by emergency officials to download an app that can pinpoint your location in the case of an emergency.

The new technology, known as what3words, is a free app, or online map at, that generates a unique three-word identified to pinpoint someone’s location if they are unaware of their location and require assistance.

Emergency services can then accurately and quickly be dispatched to the precise location of an incident. 

The technology will be used by St. Catharines Fire Services, along with the 11 other fire departments which use the St. Catharines emergency dispatch service.

All Niagara municipalities except for Niagara Falls and Fort Erie are dispatched by the St. Catharines department. 

“When an individual is in distress, time can truly mean the difference between life and death and one of the most important things to assist emergency responders is the exact location. In an emergency it is not always easy and every minute counts,” said St. Catharines Fire Chief Jeff McCormick. “St. Catharines and our dispatch departments are fortunate to have trails, parks, greenspaces, as well as rural expanses, so having innovative technology like what3words will assist first responders in the event of an emergency.”

St. Catharines Fire Services joins emergency services and dispatch call centres around the globe using the UK-based technology which covers the entire world and never needs updating. 

The technology, available for iOS and Android or through the online map, continues to expand across the globe due to its ease and success. No registration is required, and there are no tracking capabilities in the app.

Click here to learn more. 

This is how the app works (from

Using the free what3words app

Open the app and tap the Locate Me icon. The what3words address for your current location will be displayed at the top of the screen.

Read out the three words to your emergency call taker. For example if you’re at ///index.home.raft simply say: ‘My what3words address is index home raft’

The emergency service will use the what3words address to see exactly where you are and send help.

The what3words app works offline – ideal for areas with unreliable data connection.