‘what3words was used by the control room to identify where a serious injury road traffic collision had taken place. As a result, the first aid saved their life’
Supt. Nick Lyall
‘We used the technology to locate a patient who had fallen on a walking track in Alice Springs. It’s a valuable and simple tool to use for emergency services, particularly in rural or remote areas.’
Manager, St John NT’s Emergency Communication Center
‘A family was out hiking and became lost. The dispatcher sent the ‘FindMe’ link and guided the firefighters and police to them. The accurate location from what3words helped save time, resources, and got the family back to the car quickly.’
Communications Director, Summit County Sheriff’s Office, Utah
‘By using the latest technology we are continuing to enhance our services. Using three everyday words might seem strange but is a smart way to get you back on the road.’
President, the AA
What are the benefits of using what3words to locate emergencies and incidents?
what3words is an additional tool that emergency services around the world use to locate callers who struggle to describe their exact location. what3words addresses are easy to communicate over the phone and provide callers with a way to describe locations without a street address, or where a street address is unknown or not precise enough. The what3words app works offline by using the device’s GPS signal, making it ideal for use in remote areas.
How much does what3words cost?
what3words is free for emergency services organisations. Breakdown and recovery organisations can get started for free to trial what3words and then once they reach a higher number of convert to coordinate requests per month, there is a monthly payment plan with different business tiers –
Who is already using what3words for locating emergencies and incidents?
Around the world, hundreds of emergency response teams have used what3words in thousands of scenarios.
85% of UK emergency services, as well as numerous control rooms in the US, Australia, Germany, France, Austria, Singapore, Canada, India, and South Africa are using the technology.
what3words has been used in a range of incidents, from reporting fires and rescuing pets to locating critically injured horse riders and hikers. Check out a few of the real-life rescue stories
In addition to emergency services, breakdown recovery services organisations across the world are using what3words to locate breakdowns quickly. The AA, GEICO and OAMTC are our latest breakdown services organisations to be using what3words.
Where do callers get a what3words address from?
Callers can get their what3words address from the free what3words app. If callers don’t have the what3words app, they can open the online map at
in their phone’s browser. They then click the ‘Locate me’ arrow or select the square for the location they want to share, and give the 3 words to the 999 call handler.
Some services in the UK are able to send an SMS with a FindMe link to help callers discover what3words addresses even if they don’t have the app.
How is what3words better or different from just sharing a pin, using AML or another way of automatically finding a location?
Digital pins are a good method of passing location from a phone to another phone or computer. However, when it comes to using them to coordinate emergency response, pins are difficult to describe over the phone, can’t be committed to memory and can be tricky to share with others who need to navigate to the location.
what3words solves these issues with a very simple way to communicate precise locations, which is why so many emergency services choose to request 3 word addresses from members of the public.
AML technology is being increasingly adopted by control rooms, but it is not widespread. It is highly effective at identifying a caller’s precise location, but there are several instances in which it’s helpful to use it in combination with what3words to help obtain, validate or communicate a precise location. Find out more
How reliable is what3words for safety critical incidents?
Forces around the world are actively encouraging the public to use what3words. what3words has been used in thousands of situations and has proven to be a valuable and reliable tool. Check out a few of the
real-life rescue stories here
what3words addresses are more reliable than using GPS coordinates. You can use GPS coordinates to share your precise location, however, it’s easy to make mistakes passing a long string of numbers over the phone. Simply using 3 dictionary words makes this process much easier, allowing you to pass a location faster, with built in error detection. This is why many of those at emergency services prefer to ask for a what3words location than GPS coordinates.