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App Helps Firefighters Locate and Rescue Missing People

An innovative tool is making it easier for Los Angeles firefighters to rescue hundreds of people.

It is an application called “What Three Words,” which many people use to meet friends, or even to be able to locate the place where they parked, but firefighters have found this app to be a great ally.

Rescues by air, water and land are one of the most important tasks performed by the Los Angeles Fire Department personnel, but in this delicate work there is an element that they are always fighting against… time.

“The seconds make a difference when rescuing people, especially if you are having a medical emergency. Even a five-minute difference is very important because it is the time it takes for the brain to die,” said David Ortiz, a spokesman for the Los Angeles Fire Department.

On many occasions, the person who needs help cannot tell you where he or she is.

“There are times when people say, I’m in the coliseum, what part of the coliseum, the stadium? It’s huge! I’m at the park! What part of the park?”

When people are stressed, in an emergency, they often lose their temper and forget the street, address, which direction of the highway.

That is why, in July, the fire department decided to experiment with the “What Three Words” application, which as the name implies, in three words, gives the exact location of a person.

“Those three words use coordinates. Basically what they have done is they have divided the planet,” Ortiz said.

Every line that crosses the length and breadth of every part of the planet, including oceans and mountains, has a word assigned, and every three meters, the lines cross, so if you call 911, and you have the ‘What Three Words’ on your phone, you can tell the operator the three words that will give them your exact location.

“We have had more than 300 incidents where we have used this tool to find people in hard-to-find areas with accuracy,” Ortiz added.

In less than a month, there were 300 cases. So if you’re interested, you can download the free app to your phone and keep it handy.

You never know when you will need urgent help, even inside the building where you work, or at school. As the firefighters told us, they can locate you more quickly with those three words. That could be the difference between life and death.


Source: NBC Los Angeles

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