Using a what3words address in an emergency gives callers a simple way to describe precisely where they need help, and allow ER24 to get resources straight to the scene. File picture: ER24
Cape Town - Technology company what3words announced the rollout of its location technology to medical care provider, ER24, enabling faster response times in case of an incident.
 
Using a what3words address in an emergency gives callers a simple way to describe precisely where they need help, and allow ER24 to get resources straight to the scene.
 
what3words is a simple way to talk about location. They have divided the world into 3m squares and given each one a unique 3 word address using 3 words. 

///rally.latches.steams, for example, will take you to a precise spot in at the Johannesburg Botanical gardens. The app is free to download for both iOS and Android, or by browser, and works offline – making it ideal for use in areas with an unreliable data connection. 

The what3words address format is also consistent anywhere in the world, and available in 36 languages including isiZulu, Afrikaans and isiXhosa.
 
Emergencies can happen anywhere, from a road accident in the middle of rural Limpopo to an incident outside one of the gates at Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban. In an emergency situation, identifying precisely where help is needed is critical - and 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.
 
“Some of the informal settlements we get called out do not have street names. Usually, someone will meet us at a particular landmark and show us how to get from there. But, having an application that will be able to take us to the exact spot will curb having to drive up and down a road in search of the scene. It will make a change to our response times and make our jobs a little easier too,” said Jaco Kaalsen, of ER24 Bloemfontein.
 
Ben Johnson, ER24’s CEO adds: “ The partnership with what3words will help emergency medical services such as ER24 to locate people where physical addresses are not always possible. In an emergency, getting accurate information about the location is crucial, and by offering one more way to share your location we continue to put our patients first.
 
"We want to ensure that ER24 alongside what3words are giving people even more ways to get real help, real fast.”
 
Lyndsey Duff, South African Country Manager of what3words, says of the partnership, "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 really difficult situation for ER24". 

"We encourage everyone to download the app to make sure they are ready to quickly share their accurate what3words address, should the worst happen. It’s free, it’s simple to use, and one day it might just make sure you get the help you need, when you need it.
 
"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 really difficult situation for ER24," Duff said.
 
"By using what3words, everyone has a reliable and simple way to talk about location, which has broader implications on not only emergency services, but day-to-day life. It makes it easier to meet up with friends in a crowded place, guide guests to a parking lot, receive deliveries without the need to provide extra directions and explore rural areas without an address."

Cape Argus