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Press Release - Devon & Somerset Fire & Rescue Service uses what3words location app
Posted on 30/07/2019

Fire Control operators can now quickly pinpoint an emergency caller’s exact location thanks to integration with the what3words app.

The free app means that no matter where they are – on moorland or a country road – help can be sent to the precise location. This could be a fire, water rescue, people trapped in a road traffic accident or any other incident.

The app has divided the world into a grid of 3m x 3m squares and assigned each one a unique three-word address. When a caller uses the app, it will locate them in one of these 3m x 3m squares and give them a unique three words, provided they have data and a signal.

Watch Manager (Control) Glenn Larcombe said: “We would encourage people to download the app and keep it on their phone in case of an emergency. It is free to use and really helps the emergency control rooms to locate incidents.

Control Room operators managed to locate somebody recently that had been involved in a car crash and was unsure of their location by using the App what3words.

During the incident, call operators were able to ask a member of the public at the incident to download the app and when they opened the app it gave them their exact location and three key words.

The operators were then able to enter the three words into the app in the Control Room to locate exactly where they were and update the crews attending. It has been used several times in the last couple of weeks.
what3words is free-to-use and available from the what3words website or app store.

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