A mobile app is being launched to help first responders find 9-1-1 callers who don’t know their location.
The OPP announced it will be using the WHAT3WORDS app in its Provincial Communication Centres effective immediately.
In an emergency situation, if a caller contacts police and doesn’t know where they are, the app will help call-takers pinpoint the location so officers can respond quickly and more accurately know where to find the person in need.
Through its global mapping system, the app labels every three squared metres with a unique three-word location tag.
The call taker will be able to enter the three words into the system, which turns it into coordinates.
When someone calls the OPP Provincial Call Centre, the call taker will ask them if they know about the app and if they have it downloaded on their device.
If they don’t have the app already downloaded on their phone, the call-taker can send callers a link that will automatically show them their three-word location tag.
This requires minimal cellular and data signals for the caller’s phone to first receive the link and then for them to open and load their location tag from it.
If a caller already has the app downloaded on their device, it works without internet or data, so they can still provide the PCC with their location code even in locations without a signal.
The process will assist OPP officers in locating parties in remote and forested areas where the signal is limited and on vast waterways.
The OPP is encouraging you to download the free app in case of an emergency.