Three words to tell Canadian emergency services exactly where you are
How to share a what3words address with emergency services
Using the free what3words app
Open the app and tap the Locate Me icon. The what3words address for your current location will be displayed at the top of the screen.
Read out the three words to your emergency call taker. For example if you’re at ///index.home.raft simply say: ‘My what3words address is index home raft’
The emergency service will use the what3words address to see exactly where you are and send help.
The what3words app works offline – ideal for areas with unreliable data connection.
What is what3words?
what3words has divided the globe into 3m squares and given each one a unique three word identifier. It means any precise location can be communicated with just three words. For example ///lashes.candlelit.earned, will take you to the main pier at Clear Lake Marina, Riding Mountain National Park.
As well as the free app for iOS and Android, what3words is available online at map.what3words.com.
Which services in my province are using what3words?
The following Canadian emergency services have confirmed they are using and accepting what3words addresses:
- Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo – 911 Dispatch (Alberta)
- North Vancouver RCMP (British Columbia)
- Surrey Regional Fire Dispatch (British Colombia)
- The City of Brandon – Manitoba Provincial 911 and Police Dispatch (Manitoba)
- Winnipeg Police Service (Manitoba)
- Bathurst Police Force (New Brunswick)
- Halifax Regional Police (Nova Scotia)
- Barrie Police Service (Ontario)
- Burlington Fire Department (Ontario)
- Durham Regional Police Service (Ontario)
- Greater Sudbury Police Service (Ontario)
- Guelph Fire Department (Ontario)
- Guelph Police Service (Ontario)
- Halton Police (Ontario)
- London Police Service (Ontario)
- Kawartha Lakes Police Service (Ontario)
- Kawartha Lakes Fire Rescue Service (Ontario)
- Kingston Fire & Rescue (Ontario)
- Kingston Police (Ontario)
- Kingston Central Ambulance Communications Centre (Ontario)
- Oshawa Fire Service (Ontario)
- Ontario Provincial Police (Ontario)
- Ottawa Police (Ontario)
- Sault Ste. Marie Police Service (Ontario)
- Timmins Police Service (Ontario)
- Waterloo Police Service (Ontario)
- Medavie Health Services West Emergency Medical Services (Saskatchewan)
- Parkland Ambulance (Saskatchewan)
- Saskatchewan Health Authority (Saskatchewan)
- Abitibi-Témiscamingue Emergency Call Center – CAUAT (Quebec)
- Ville de Mont Tremblant Fire and Emergency Services (Quebec)
- Chaudière-Appalaches Emergency Call Center – CAUCA (Quebec)
- Whitehorse Fire Department (Yukon)
If your local service isn’t on this list, you can reach out and ask them if they’ve heard of what3words.
Remember: always gather as much location information as you can in an emergency in case what3words addresses aren’t accepted.