ORILLIA — If you haven’t downloaded the COVID alert tracker app, here’s another one you may consider to save yourself.
Today the OPP launched the internationally-recognized and used mobile application ‘what3words’ in its provincial communications centres (PCCs) — like the one at its Orillia headquarters.
They say that in an emergency, if you call 911 and you don’t know where you are, the app will help call-takers pinpoint your exact location so police can quickly respond and more accurately know where to find the person(s) in need.
Go to the what3words website to download the app at https://what3words.com/products/what3words-app/
Using a global mapping system, the app labels every three squared metres with a unique three-word location tag.
The PCC call taker is able to enter the three words into the system, which converts the tag into latitudinal and longitudinal coordinates. With the proper coordinates in hand, the PCC can direct officers to the precise location of the person in need.
When the public contacts OPP PCC, the operator will ask them if they are familiar with the app and if they have it downloaded onto their device. If they don’t have the app already downloaded on their phone, the call-taker can send callers a link that will automatically show them their three-word location tag.
The process requires minimal cellular and data signals for the caller’s phone to first receive the link and then for them to open and load their location tag from it.
If a caller already has the app downloaded on their device, it works without internet or data, so they can still provide the PCC with their location code even in locations without a cellular signal.
The process will assist OPP officers in locating parties in remote and forested areas where signal is limited and on vast waterways.
The use of technology can offer many benefits and the OPP is proud to incorporate progressive tools such as this one to assist with its goal of a safer Ontario for everyone. The OPP is encouraging members of the public to download the free app in case of emergency.
NOTE: If you don’t have the COVID alert app, you can get it through the federal government by going to this website Download COVID Alert: Canada’s exposure notification app – Canada.ca