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emergency services and what3words


Jim Riley

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10 minutes ago, Alan de Enfield said:


100's of hikers carry them, strap and is readily available in an emergency.

 

So not that many then. Would you say that most hikers "dont" carry a mobile phone which could accommodate W3W? 

 

10 minutes ago, Alan de Enfield said:

 

Whilst they do work worldwide on Land, Sea or Air they are not the same as a boat EPIRB which has longer transmit times on the battery etc etc.

 

I agree about the value of PLBs and EPIRBs, but only if you actually have one. You could just as easily suggest that everyone carries an EPIRB, although I appreciate that they are bulky and expensive.

 

You obviously have a closed mind to W3W and, if you had your way, people would die.

 

It is a good job it's not your decision.

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If the emergency services want to use proprietary mobile apps to locate people, they'd be better off asking people to send their location on something many more people use on a daily basis like WhatsApp...

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3 hours ago, enigmatic said:

If the emergency services want to use proprietary mobile apps to locate people, they'd be better off asking people to send their location on something many more people use on a daily basis like WhatsApp...

I don't use WhatsApp, does that automatically log your position and send it to people?

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2 minutes ago, ditchcrawler said:

I don't use WhatsApp, does that automatically log your position and send it to people?

No, but you can choose to send a location to other people with WhatsApp accounts at any point in a conversation you want to

 

Mostly it's for sending messages and pictures

 

Other apps have similar functions, WhatsApp just happens to be a particularly popular one.

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5 minutes ago, Richard10002 said:

I'm fairly tech savvy, have just opened a conversation in WhatsApp, and can't see how to send a location to a family member.

Just in case you ever get asked by family in future, it's very similar to how you send photos or other attachments

 

- Click the 'attachment' paperclip icon next to the text box you send messages with. A list of options pop up, including Location.

 

- Click Location. You will see a map showing your location and telling you how accurate it is, and choices to share it live (and updating), just the current location or listed nearby landmarks

 

- The user gets the map in the middle of their Whatsapp conversation,. You can of course also add other notes like "towpath side please", or send another update if you have to move.

 

 

 

WhatsApp design isn't perfect, but this is probably easier than explaining what what3words is  :D 

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On 02/06/2021 at 14:02, enigmatic said:

 

- Click the 'attachment' paperclip icon next to the text box you send messages with. A list of options pop up, including Location.

 

- Click Location. You will see a map showing your location and telling you how accurate it is, and choices to share it live (and updating), just the current location or listed nearby landmarks

 

 

Thanks - good to know. Been sending attachments in WhatsApp for years but never noticed this. Just tried it at my current location in the Claydon flight and it worked almost perfectly. Almost, because it thought I was on the offside but then W3W sometimes thinks I'm in the middle of the canal when I'm standing on the towpath.

 

Another tool to add to the collection.

 

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4 hours ago, andy4502 said:

Hi all,

 

I am the previous manager of Welsh and South West Ambulance Control rooms. I have to say that W3W is a very good idea and easy to use/compatible to computer systems. 

 

You have to remember that in an emergency the caller is not normally calm and collected so anything which makes location finding easier is a very good idea :)

 

Maybe you can help to clear something up for me/us:

 

In a few of these posts some people have said that the emergency services get a position from a mobile phone, (with the facility). Is that actually the case and, if so, there may not be as many cases where W3W or similar actually improve things? - or is the automatic position provision a myth?

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7 hours ago, Richard10002 said:

Is that actually the case and, if so, there may not be as many cases where W3W or similar actually improve things? - or is the automatic position provision a myth?

 

It is certainly in EU and UK law that the system is there, used and functioning.

 

It has been in place since 2014, but having taken several years to write the legislation it became law in 2020

 

The European Electronic Communications Code  (Directive 2018/1972/EC) makes it mandatory for all the Member States of the European Union to make use of handset-derived location to locate people calling emergency services starting from December 2020. AML is a technology that enables the provision of such information and thus, ensures compliance with this legislation.

 

In brief, AML support requires a smartphone that has dialled 999 (or 112) to silently send a SMS containing the GPS coordinates of the device to the emergency authority. The user can not currently (Google are developing an opt-out possibility) disable the service, do not require any credits and do not need to enable any location services or permissions. AML happens completely silently, and automatically.

A short while later, January 2018, Apple confirmed AML functionality in its release iOS 11.3. This small change, overlooked by the casual iPhone user, forced CAD system developers to begin offering support for AML within the next releases of their software, and media attention that followed meant emergency service control rooms were driven to see such changes implelented in their systems. This is still very much 'work on-going'.

Presently, around 65% of 999 calls made in the UK arrive with the emergency authority containing AML data, and AML has been shown to be up to 4000 times more accurate than cell tower triangulation, resulting in location fixes being accurate to only a couple of meters! Personally, I've seen many incidents where AML has been accurate enough to see which side of a road a 999 call is made from, and even one incident where AML saved hours of time due to being able to see which side of a waterfall a caller was on, where the river was unable to be crossed for miles in each direction.

The consistency, availability and accuracy of AML make it a 'no brainer' for any and all emergency services!

 

AML is fully operational in the United Kingdom, Estonia, Lithuania, Austria (ELS only), Iceland, Belgium, Ireland, Finland, Slovenia, Germany (specific regions) and New Zealand on all mobile networks. It is also available in parts of the USA. The volume of emergency calls differs between the countries because of their size and scale but the UK are handling c12000 AML messages every day and Estonia are handling c500 per day. At the moment, 8 other European countries are about to start testing AML with the view of implementing it in the coming weeks/months

Edited by Alan de Enfield
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32 minutes ago, Alan de Enfield said:

 

It is certainly in EU and UK law that the system is there, used and functioning.

Does it function even in places where there is no service?

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24 minutes ago, Jerra said:

Does it function even in places where there is no service?

 

I don't know but there are 100's of documents and references on Google.

 

From what I have read it doesn't need a signal to get the position - it uses GPs / satellites (hence the accuracy compared to triangulating off masts) and it needs only an absolute minimal signal to send text rather than voice.

I assume it needs some signal.

 

However W3W does require a full voice standard signal to ge able to tell the operator their W3W location, so another reason to use AML.

 

If you are going into areas that definately have no signal whatsoever, then the only thing that will 100% work for you is a PLB (no phone signal, no contract, no monthly costs, no lack of service worries) which sends its location to the GPS satellites, which then sends the signal back down to Earth and the Emergency services.

 

The PLB costs are favourable with a mobile phone.

The downside of the PLB is that you do not have voice contact with the emergency services so cannot give details over the type of accident and the number of casualties etc.

Screenshot (381).png

 

 

 

5 minutes ago, Graham Davis said:

No it doesn't.

And don't forget that AdE has a fixation against W3W.

 

I do not have a 'fixation' over W3W, I have a "fixation" (if you wish to call it that) of having the best piece of equipment for the job.

 

I'm sure that you will of course acknowledge that W3W will not work in any area without a signal.

 

 

Can you ring emergency services with no signal?
Answer. Answer: Emergency calls can be made on any mobile phone network, not just your own. If you are somewhere where your network doesn't have reception but another does, you get Emergency Calls Only. If no networks have any signal, you'll be told there is no reception and you can't even make 999 calls.
 
 

Edited by Alan de Enfield
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9 minutes ago, Alan de Enfield said:

 

I don't know but there are 100's of documents and references on Google.

 

From what I have read it doesn't need a signal to get the position - it uses GPs / satellites (hence the accuracy compared to triangulating off masts) and it needs only an absolute minimal signal to send text rather than voice.

I assume it needs some signal.

 

However W3W does require a full voice standard signal to ge able to tell the operator their W3W location, so another reason to use AML.

 

If you are going into areas that definately have no signal whatsoever, then the only thing that will 100% work for you is a PLB (no phone signal, no contract, no monthly costs, no lack of service worries) which sends its location to the GPS satellites, which then sends the signal back down to Earth and the Emergency services.

 

The PLB costs are favourable with a mobile phone.

The downside of the PLB is that you do not have voice contact with the emergency services so cannot give details over the type of accident and the number of casualties etc.

Screenshot (381).png

 

 

 

 

I do not have a 'fixation' over W3W, I have a "fixation" (if you wish to call it that) of having the best piece of equipment for the job.

 

I'm sure that you will of course acknowledge that W3W will not work in any area without a signal.

 

 

Can you ring emergency services with no signal?
Answer. Answer: Emergency calls can be made on any mobile phone network, not just your own. If you are somewhere where your network doesn't have reception but another does, you get Emergency Calls Only. If no networks have any signal, you'll be told there is no reception and you can't even make 999 calls.
 
 

 

The point that was sitting at the back of my mind is that here in the Lakes you can go from service to no service in a few yards.  A system which requires no service is clearly an advantage, providing of course you have managed to let somebody know you need help.

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1 minute ago, Jerra said:

The point that was sitting at the back of my mind is that here in the Lakes you can go from service to no service in a few yards.  A system which requires no service is clearly an advantage, providing of course you have managed to let somebody know you need help.

 

Exactly the sort of area I was thinking of, similarly Snowdonia where you can be deep in a valley with no phone signal.

I know the uninitiated frown upon it, but a PLB (I have 3, one for each of us and one on the boat) need not be £100s, I paid £60 ish for each of mine with 4 years battery life (and batteries are replaceable - around £100 for a 6 year life) There are no ongoing charges and they work anywhere in the world - even getting lost up a mountain in Thailand, or 100 miles out to sea.

Simply 'press the button' and the emergency services are informed that you need help. They know who you are, your next of kin and your contact details, and can check with family / friends if you are at home, and its a false alarm, or if you are really 'out and about'.

 

For 40p per week it is a no brainer to me, that in an emergency, life threatening situation I can have notified the Emergency services with an accurate location and have them on the way within a few minutes.

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1 hour ago, Jerra said:

Does it function even in places where there is no service?

Neither does W3W!

 

At least you do not have to have phone credits to provide your location with AML

Edited by Mike Todd
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57 minutes ago, Jerra said:

The point that was sitting at the back of my mind is that here in the Lakes you can go from service to no service in a few yards.  A system which requires no service is clearly an advantage, providing of course you have managed to let somebody know you need help.

 

As long as the phone has "sight" of a satellite or more then it will be able to get a fix on a position that W3W will calculate. The "problem" then is that without a mobile phone signal you can't give that to the emergency services, but as you say, just moving a few yards can alter that.

And as for PLB's, I've spoken to several people over the weekend who have used W3W and map references to call emergency services whilst out mountain biking, green laning and walking and none of them have even heard of PLBs!

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1 minute ago, Mike Todd said:

Neither does W3W!

 

At least you do not have to have phone credits to provide your location with AML

 

You don't need phone credit to get a position from W3W. 

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1 minute ago, Graham Davis said:

 

As long as the phone has "sight" of a satellite or more then it will be able to get a fix on a position that W3W will calculate. The "problem" then is that without a mobile phone signal you can't give that to the emergency services, but as you say, just moving a few yards can alter that.

And as for PLB's, I've spoken to several people over the weekend who have used W3W and map references to call emergency services whilst out mountain biking, green laning and walking and none of them have even heard of PLBs!

I must admit that in all my years in the mountains I have never acctually met anyone who was carrying one.   I don't think even my mate who is an international mountain guide carries one but I will ask him when I next see him but that will be a while.

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2 minutes ago, Jerra said:

I must admit that in all my years in the mountains I have never acctually met anyone who was carrying one.   I don't think even my mate who is an international mountain guide carries one but I will ask him when I next see him but that will be a while.

Like super-duper anchors, Alan thinks that because he's got a PLB, everyone should have one... ?

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1 minute ago, Jerra said:

I must admit that in all my years in the mountains I have never acctually met anyone who was carrying one.   I don't think even my mate who is an international mountain guide carries one but I will ask him when I next see him but that will be a while.

 

 

It is only in the last few years that they have been made available and legal to use 'on land;

 

Personal locator beacons cleared for use on land - BBC News

 

UK Interface Requirement (IR) 2084 (ofcom.org.uk)

 

UK walkers and climbers can now use Personal Locator Beacons (PLBs) (go4awalk.com)

 

UKC Forums - Personal Locator Beacons (PLBs) confirmed legal for use on Land (ukclimbing.com)

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2 hours ago, Alan de Enfield said:

 

It is certainly in EU and UK law that the system is there, used and functioning.

 

It has been in place since 2014, but having taken several years to write the legislation it became law in 2020

 

The European Electronic Communications Code  (Directive 2018/1972/EC) makes it mandatory for all the Member States of the European Union to make use of handset-derived location to locate people calling emergency services starting from December 2020. AML is a technology that enables the provision of such information and thus, ensures compliance with this legislation.

 

In brief, AML support requires a smartphone that has dialled 999 (or 112) to silently send a SMS containing the GPS coordinates of the device to the emergency authority. The user can not currently (Google are developing an opt-out possibility) disable the service, do not require any credits and do not need to enable any location services or permissions. AML happens completely silently, and automatically.

A short while later, January 2018, Apple confirmed AML functionality in its release iOS 11.3. This small change, overlooked by the casual iPhone user, forced CAD system developers to begin offering support for AML within the next releases of their software, and media attention that followed meant emergency service control rooms were driven to see such changes implelented in their systems. This is still very much 'work on-going'.

Presently, around 65% of 999 calls made in the UK arrive with the emergency authority containing AML data, and AML has been shown to be up to 4000 times more accurate than cell tower triangulation, resulting in location fixes being accurate to only a couple of meters! Personally, I've seen many incidents where AML has been accurate enough to see which side of a road a 999 call is made from, and even one incident where AML saved hours of time due to being able to see which side of a waterfall a caller was on, where the river was unable to be crossed for miles in each direction.

The consistency, availability and accuracy of AML make it a 'no brainer' for any and all emergency services!

 

AML is fully operational in the United Kingdom, Estonia, Lithuania, Austria (ELS only), Iceland, Belgium, Ireland, Finland, Slovenia, Germany (specific regions) and New Zealand on all mobile networks. It is also available in parts of the USA. The volume of emergency calls differs between the countries because of their size and scale but the UK are handling c12000 AML messages every day and Estonia are handling c500 per day. At the moment, 8 other European countries are about to start testing AML with the view of implementing it in the coming weeks/months

and that’s why I asked someone who was in the business, and not you ;) 

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1 minute ago, Richard10002 said:

and that’s why I asked someone who was in the business, and not you ;) 

 

And, as an 'Ex manager' he is possibly not aware of the latest (2020) legislation and facilities offered by mobile phones.

 

You can be very blinkered by anything that doesn't agree with your agenda.

 

I posted the relevant legislation and reports, simply so it was not 'my personal impressions' you can read all about it if you are prepared to.

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1 minute ago, Alan de Enfield said:

 

And, as an 'Ex manager' he is possibly not aware of the latest (2020) legislation and facilities offered by mobile phones.

 

You can be very blinkered by anything that doesn't agree with your agenda.

 

I posted the relevant legislation and reports, simply so it was not 'my personal impressions' you can read all about it if you are prepared to.

Thank you Alan, (de Enfield)..... not blinkered at all. I read what you wrote, and am fully aware that it was not your personal impressions.

 

The stuff that you posted says that only 65% of calls include an AML position.

 

I am still interested to hear the info available from an “ex manager”.

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