Identifying precisely where help is needed in an emergency can be critical to saving lives, from an incident outside Canal Walk Shopping Centre, Cape Town, to a road accident in rural Limpopo. This can be near impossible if you are in an area with no address, or if that address isn’t good enough to describe exactly where you are.
To help improve response times and provide care when patients need it most, ER24, South Africa’s leading medical emergency services provider, has partnered with what3words.
What is what3words?
what3words is a really simple way to talk about location. It has divided the world into 3m squares and given each one a unique 3 word address. For example ///rally.latches.steams is a lovely spot in Johannesburg Botanical gardens.
The what3words app is free to use on iOS and Android and works offline, making it ideal for use in areas with an unreliable data connection. It is available in over 35 languages including isiZulu, Afrikaans and isiXhosa.
How does it work?
When callers dial ER24, they can easily communicate their accurate location by sharing their 3 word address. For example, if a caller needs help and is standing at one of the gates at the Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban, they could say ‘labels.muffin.performs’ to their ER24 Contact Centre agent to communicate their precise 3m square location and help speed up the response time.
‘In an emergency, getting accurate location information can be crucial. ER24’s partnership with what3words will help us locate people where physical addresses are not present. We want to ensure that we give people more ways to get help and fast’, said Ben Johnson, ER24 Chief Executive Officer.
‘Being in urgent need of help and not being able to describe your accurate location can be incredibly stressful for the person involved and a difficult situation for the emergency services. We encourage everyone to download the what3words app to make sure they are ready to quickly share their precise location in an emergency. It’s free, simple to use, and one day it may ensure you get the help you need, when you need it’, said Lyndsey Duff, what3words South Africa Country Manager.
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