Emergency services to use GPS to respond to 000 calls

3 min read
March 19, 2020

Australian emergency services will be able to respond to accidents much faster in the near future with the location of Triple-0 calls from mobile devices to be displayed in real-time.

It is a common misconception all over the world that emergency respondents can automatically determine your location if you call from a mobile device.

But, until now, that has not been the reality. This has caused major problems for a number of reasons.

Firstly, someone that has been stricken by illness, injured in an accident or hurt in any other way may not have the capacity to explain their location.

Secondly, in rural and remote settings, callers may not have the necessary coordinates, landmarks or lot numbers to explain where they are for emergency services.

Advanced Mobile Location is the technology that allows emergency services to use your mobile signal and GPS to locate and deliver support rapidly.

It was standardised by the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) in 2016 and now it is coming to Australia.

Telstra has agreed to supply data in an agreement with Apple and Android that will see the information made available from June in 2020.


The global use of AML for emergency responses

While Australia’s trial of this technology will be a litmus test for the rest of the world, we are not the only country experimenting with this innovation.

ANL technology has already been deployed or has been trialled in Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Iceland, Ireland, Lithuania, Moldova, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Slovenia, Czech Republic, Sweden, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom and the United States.

In the United States, 80 per cent of 911 emergency calls are made from mobile (cell, in American terms) devices. While 911 services can contact wireless carriers to determine the location of the caller if the person making the call is unable to, it is not an exact science there yet.

This also varies depending on the service provider, with test calls showing 90 per cent confidence levels – meaning one in 10 calls would be incorrectly located at present.

In Romania, the Special Telecommunication Service (STS) has been testing a similar service since the start of 2020 with AML.

Depending on the signal strength of the phone, this system is able to pinpoint the emergency services call from a mobile device to within just a few metres.


How you can provide emergency services with your location before June

While the process of locating emergency service callers using their mobile device signal is not the standard yet in Australia, you can provide this information yourself.

Australia’s emergency services and the Federal Government have combined to create the free app Emergency+ app, allowing you to voluntarily provide your GPS location when you call Triple-0.

It is available for IoS, Android and Windows phones and you can download the app here.


Unlock GPS monitoring to protect your mobile workforce

Driving is one of the most dangerous activities a worker will undertake and it is very common across a lot of industries.

Mining, oil, gas, renewables and other companies in the resources sector all have drivers travelling between job sites in rural and remote locations.

If they were to have an accident, experience a vehicle malfunction or any other calamity on the road, how would their manager know? Especially in an area of low mobile/cell reception.

Journey Management System works by determining the travel path before the driver departs, setting checkpoints and allocated time periods for the driver to reach them.

From there, it is set and forget with the driver not required to touch their mobile device at all. If they do not reach checkpoints on time, alerts are sent by SMS, email and mobile audio so that managers can provide rapid support.

British resources giant Anglo American and Australian drilling leaders Mitchell Services already know the value of JMS, deploying the app across their fleets to ensure driver safety.

Related articles

Benefits of a Fleet Management System
Fleet Technology Trends to Expect in 2023
Empowering companies to keep employees safe this Rail Safety Week