New app helps police rescue stranded hikers in Sault Ste. Marie
Three people who got lost hiking Jan. 10 in the Connor Road area of Sault Ste. Marie were able to use the 'what3words' app to let police know where they were located. (File)
SUDBURY -- Three people who got lost hiking Jan. 10 in the Connor Road area of Sault Ste. Marie were able to use the 'what3words' app to let police know where they were located.
One of the hikers called the Sault Ste. Marie Police Service at 3:57 p.m., and dispatchers were able to get them to download the what3words app.
"Once they did, police and members of Sault Search and Rescue were able to pinpoint their location," police said in a news release Monday. "With the help of the app, the hikers were located and rescued safely."
Sault police recently partnered with what3words, giving them another tool to locate people who may have become lost or stranded. The app provides three unique words for every three metres square in the world, allowing anyone to describe their precise location easily.
“Anything we can deploy to locate someone in distress is a positive,” Chief Hugh Stevenson said in the release. “We are happy to be the latest police service to partner with what3words, and I’m proud of our dispatchers as they reacted swiftly to coordinate the use of the app to locate people in need of support.”
Gregoire de Chavanas, of what3words, said the app is free for individuals to download and use.
“In emergency situations, like when hikers become stranded, we believe our technology can save lives," de Chavanas said. "It is fantastic to see services like the Sault Ste. Marie Police Service embrace the use of what3words and we encourage everyone to download the free app to be prepared to give their three words in an emergency if needed.”
The app works best when the user has downloaded the app onto their mobile device, since it works offline without data connection and therefore there will be no limitations to being able to discover three words. For those who do not have the app in advance, emergency dispatchers can send a link for the app to a phone via text message.
For more information about the technology, click here.