Avon & Somerset Police is to trial a new system designed to gather critical health and location data from connected devices used by callers to the emergency services.
The system, made possible thanks to a partnership between emergency response data platform RapidSOS and location technology company what3words, will see emergency control rooms able to quickly dispatch appropriate resources to incidents.
The RapidSOS Platform links life-saving emergency intelligence data from connected devices directly to the emergency services.
The what3words system has given every 3-meter square a unique identifier made of three random words. This means that any location can be communicated using just three words.
what3words provides the accuracy of GPS coordinates in a human-friendly format that is easier to communicate and less prone to error than long strings of numbers.
With the new partnership, when a caller dials 999, the what3words address of the caller’s current location will be securely delivered to the emergency control room via RapidSOS.
Call handlers will be able to see this information displayed directly on their screens via the RapidSOS Platform.
RapidSOS will continue to update the call handler with the caller’s latest what3words address, in the event that the caller is mobile.
Emergency call handlers can then pass the what3words address to responders. The caller does not need to have the what3words app on their smartphone in order for this information to be relayed via RapidSOS.
Sam Sheppard, Command and Control Systems Manager at Avon & Somerset Police commented: “RapidSOS and the integration with what3words will take location data to the next level for emergency services.
“This partnership will provide critical location information quickly and accurately when it’s needed the most. Our control room will be better equipped to deal with calls for help when the location information may have previously been a challenge to get.
“We will have the technology that will allow us to dispatch quickly to an accurate location with a range of supplementary information that will inform our units prior to arriving on scene. This will save valuable time and save lives.”
Patrick Arbuthnott, UK Emergency Services Partnership Lead, said: “In an emergency, there are often many stakeholders involved in coordinating a response.
“By having one precise, easily communicable what3words address, multiple teams can pass the location amongst each other seamlessly and provide help faster.
“‘The emergency services already do phenomenal work, but any additional tools we can provide them to make their job easier is something we’re incredibly humbled to do.”
Jeremy Habberley, Director of Global Accounts at RapidSOS, added: “Location is one of the most important pieces of information in an emergency.
“Together with what3words, we’re able to deliver an accurate view into 999 callers’ locations, providing people with an added layer of safety and security, while supporting our heroic first responders in saving millions of lives annually.
“We’re united in our commitment to create a safer, stronger future where technology and people work together seamlessly to protect and save lives.
“We are planning on introducing new features to enhance this joint solution in the coming months.”