Tech Tuesday: New tech helps rescuers find people in need faster

Tech Tuesday

LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – It can be terrifying calling 911 in an emergency, especially when you don’t have an address to give.

But new technology now pinpoints emergency calls in seconds, using an app or a text straight to your cell phone.

The Los Angeles Fire Department gets a thousand calls for help a day. From hoisting hikers to safety to battling wildfires.

Last April, a pair of Los Angeles hikers ventured off a trail and got lost.

A new technology called “What3Words” led rescuers to their exact location.

Nationwide, the average emergency response time is around 8 minutes, rising to 14 minutes in rural areas.

Now, help comes sooner.

Callers who have the app on their phones can quickly give their three-word location to 911.

But even without the app, dispatchers can still zero in on a call.

“Even if you’re offline, no data, you can still get the 3 words from where you are. If you don’t have the app on your phone, they do have a way to send you an SMS, which will take you to a web page, where you can get the 3 words,” said Chris Sheldrick, CEO of What3Words.

Three words that take the “search” out of “search and rescue.”

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