what3words: three words to save a life

know exactly where

Can you imagine what you would do if you, or someone you know, became seriously ill or injured and you have no idea where you are? Our critical care team are often tasked to incidents in remote locations. When time is critical, being able to give your precise location when calling 999 can help to save precious minutes and lives. Below, what3words explain how their app, which is free to download, is helping to do just that..

In an emergency, when every second counts, reporting exactly where help is needed is crucial. However, emergencies can happen anywhere, often in places that are hard to describe. Whether it is a house with an unreliable postcode, a point along a towpath, or even somewhere deep within a forest, without an accurate street address or identifiable landmark, there are many instances where it is almost impossible for a 999 caller to describe their location quickly or accurately. This makes it difficult for emergency services to provide an efficient response.

what3words offers a solution

what3words has given every 3-metre square in the world a unique three-word identifier: a what3words address. For example, ///tortoises.swarm.announce will take you to a precise location on Ben Nevis where, in February 2020, a group of lost hikers were rescued.

Over 80% of the UK’s emergency services are using what3words to locate callers faster. Many voluntary search and rescue teams, air ambulance crews and dispatchers now consider it to be an essential tool in the emergency toolbox.

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How it works

The what3words app allows members of the public calling emergency services to find their current what3words address and use it as a simple way to communicate exactly where help is needed, even if they do not have a mobile signal. Using words makes the passing and sharing of locations more human-friendly and reduces the likelihood for error.

what3words app on mobile phone

Stories are constantly emerging about how it has been used to locate callers. The type of incident varies widely; from locating lost and vulnerable missing persons, to tackling rural fires or getting medical assistance to people with critical injuries.

The app can be downloaded for FREE on iOS and Android devices. There, you can learn how to give your what3words in an emergency, enabling you to be prepared. More information on how to use the app can also be found by visiting: www.what3words.com/how-to-use-the-what3words-app/

 Help 999 #KnowExactlyWhere

Download the app on the App Store, or on Google Play or visit: www.what3words.com