Triple Zero app with GPS identifies location in emergency
National emergency services organisations have launched an app that allows callers ringing Triple Zero on their mobiles to be located by GPS tracking.
The free Emergency+ app has been developed by the national Triple Zero Awareness Work Group (TZAWG) following concern about the release of smartphone apps that claimed to send location details to emergency responders, but which couldn't be guaranteed to perform.
TZAWG is a national body that represents emergency call-taking agencies throughout Australia. It operates as a work group under the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA). Two-thirds of all incoming calls to Triple Zero are now made from mobile phones.
The app requires users to first call 000, the SES or the Police 131 444 line through the app. If the caller is unsure of their exact location, they are asked if they have the app on their smartphone and if they can then verbally read out their exact latitude and longitude GPS coordinates.
It is designed to help people pick the right emergency number to call for help in emergency and non-emergency situations. Information on other national numbers such as Crime Stoppers will also be available.
SA Ambulance Service's executive director of operations, Steve Cameron, said the app will assist ambulance personnel to find patients during medical emergencies.
"This app has the potential to save lives because in a medical emergency every second counts,” Mr Cameron said.
"In situations where callers are unable to give clear and accurate location information, this app will assist ambulance personnel to find patients and is therefore an extremely valuable tool.”
It will also assist country fire services to improve the response time of crews to incidents including bushfires and road accident rescues.
Rather than ringing 000 directly, the caller opens the the Emergency+ app on their phone and taps Triple Zero to make their call. The receiver then asks them to press the Emergency+ icon, which will take them to their map coordinates and they can read out their lat/long information.
Posted in Australian eHealth