OS Emergency Communications Centre Roll Outs what3words Location Technology
Owen Sound Emergency Communications Centre roll outs what3words location technology in a revolutionary move to help them locate people in an emergency.
- Emergency Dispatch Centres and responders in Owen Sound, Saugeen Shores, Hanover, West Grey, Port Hope, Cobourg, Dryden areas and 25 fire departments in North Huron, Bruce and Grey County are starting to use ground breaking location technology what3words to locate 9-1-1 callers faster
- what3words has divided the world into a grid of 3m x 3m squares and given each square a unique what3words address. [For example, ///sustaining.lazier.glaring will take you one of the trails in Harrison Park near the campground ]
● Following the success of its rollout in the UK, South Africa, Australia and Germany, where the system is helping Police, Fire and Ambulance teams to save precious time, resources & lives
The Owen Sound Police Service Emergency Communication Centre who currently dispatches for 7 Police Agencies and 25 Fire Departments and are the Public Safety Answering Point in Bruce and Grey County have started to adopt the innovative global address system what3words, following the successful use of the system to help locate people in need of help in the UK and Australia. To find you more easily in an emergency, 911 police dispatchers for municipalities of Owen Sound, Saugeen Shores, West Grey, Hanover, Port Hope, Cobourg and Dryden and fire dispatchers for Owen Sound, Georgian Bluffs (Intertownship Fire), Chatsworth, Meaford, Grey Highlands (Markdale/Flesherton), West Grey (Durham, Ayton, Neustadt), Dundalk, Tara-Arran, Chesley, Paisley, South Bruce (Teeswater, Mildmay), North Bruce Peninsula (Lion’s Head, Tobermory), South Bruce Peninsula (Sauble Beach, Wiarton), Saugeen First Nations, Chippewas of Nawash are encouraging members of the public to download the app in the event that they become lost or are unable to communicate their location to emergency dispatchers.
what3words is an easy way to talk about location. Every 3m square in the world has been given a unique combination of three words: a what3words address. For example, ///brushed.amount..doing will take you to the Kemble Mountain Management Area or ///shovels.thresholds.books will take you to open waters of Lake Huron and the beautiful Chantry Island Lighthouse. Members of the public can download the free what3words app for iOS and Android or use the online map. The app works offline making it ideal for use in the rural areas of Canada that might have a poor internet connection, such as the Niagara Escarpment that is enjoyed by hikers, tourists and lovers of the great outdoors alike. Every 3m square in the world has a what3words address, and they are available in over 40 languages.
London-based technology company what3words started the rollout of its innovative location technology to Emergency Services in the UK and South Africa in 2019, and Australia in 2020. A number of Emergency Services across the UK have been using what3words for nearly two years where it has been relied upon in critical incidents and credited with saving lives. Using what3words addresses gives callers a simple way to describe precisely where help is needed and allows emergency response crews to get resources directly to the scene. It has helped to rescue people from a range of incidents including locating victims of rural road accidents, people trapped in flood waters, kidnap victims and critically injured hikers and cyclists.
Now, in an emergency where a location is difficult to describe, 9-1-1 callers can give their what3words address from the what3words app. People who do not have the app installed will be sent a link by the 911 Operator for the Owen Sound Emergency Communications Centre to a mobile version of the site: ca.findme.w3w.co, which they can open in a mobile browser and read the three words on their screen to the 9-1-1 call operator. All the app requires to display you your what3words address is a GPS signal. These three words can then be used by the 911 dispatchers to identify the precise location and direct resource to exactly where it is required.
Chris Sheldrick, CEO of what3words says ‘Every month, people all around the world struggle to communicate their location to emergency services. This leads to crucial minutes and sometimes hours lost when trying to save lives. It’s exciting to hear that the Owen Sound Police Service Emergency Communications dispatchers are starting to use what3words and we are looking forward to working with them as they embrace new technologies, like ours, to help save lives.’
Chief Ambrose of the Owen Sound Police Service commented that “Being able to use what3words is going to make a huge difference, especially in life-threatening situations. For anyone who finds themselves lost, injured or in need of help in an unfamiliar location, trying to communicate where help is needed just using visual descriptions of what they can see, or trying to remember what direction they were heading, can be very stressful. For the person taking the call in our dispatch centre, the information is not always accurate and this can make coordinating the appropriate response very challenging. Our dispatch team can now ask for a precise what3words address, or send an SMS with a link to what3words to a caller who doesn't know where they are, meaning we can save precious time responding to emergencies and helping callers much more easily.”
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