In an emergency situation, every second counts. RapidDeploy is an emergency dispatch platform based in South Africa. They work with several emergency services in South Africa – including Ambulance, Rescue and Security fleets – providing a fast response service to help emergency vehicles reach those in crisis on land and sea.

The robust system initially faced the challenge of poor location-based addressing and geocoding in South Africa – particularly in rural areas. This makes it difficult to identify the precise location of someone in need of help. Furthermore, communicating that location accurately to the emergency services is harder still.


RapidDeploy responded to this challenge by integrating what3words into its service. what3words has divided the world into a global grid of 3m x 3m squares, and given each one a unique 3 word address. This allows RapidDeploy to dispatch to incidents even on open seas. It also means that emergency operators can now pinpoint exactly where an accident has occurred and direct first responders to its precise location.

3 word addresses can also be quickly and easily shared between emergency services, such as a lifeboat at sea and an ambulance waiting for the patient on land. Drivers and paramedics require no specialist navigation tools to know where they need to go. Instead, they can focus on the only thing that matters in these crisis situations – saving lives.