Life-saving location app adopted by ambulance service

There is a new app you can use to let South Western Ambulance Service Trust know exactly where you are in an emergency.

The service has invested in the what3words global address system and, if you download the app, it will tell paramedics and ambulance crews your location within a three-square metre area.

If you dial 999, you can use the free app to find the three-word address for your location and share it with the call handler.

The ambulance service is encouraging East Devon residents to download the app – but to only use it in a genuine emergency.

David Fletcher, head of the ambulance service’s clinical hubs, said: “We cover an incredibly complex and varied area, including rural and urban regions, but sometimes there are no postcodes or clear directions to help us to pinpoint the location of patients in need of our care.

“While we will continue to use our existing mapping systems, we are now also using the new technology to locate incidents.”

Mr Fletcher added: “This new mapping system will allow people to tell us easily and simply exactly where they are. So no matter whether they are in the middle of Dartmoor, at a festival, or in the middle of a university campus, their location will have a unique three-word description which will help us to find them.

“If you download the app, it will mean we can find you more easily in an emergency when every second counts. It really could be the difference between life and death.”

The app divides the world into 57 trillion nine-square-metre areas, and gives each a unique three-word address.

Some police forces, who are already using the technology, say it has benefited its response to emergencies.

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