Sydney, Australia, Dec 16, 2020 -- One of the first questions asked when someone dials triple zero is 'where are you?'.
The answer is not always easy – with emergency services receiving weekly incidents where callers don't know their location.
The latest updates for Android and iPhone mobiles will help emergency services nationwide know the exact location of callers with new Advanced Mobile Location (AML) technology.
"When you call triple zero, you're stressed and anxious – so much so that sometimes you don't know where you are," Communications Minister Paul Fletcher said at the NSW Fire and Rescue headquarters where he announced the technology today.
AML has replaced triple zero's current location technology known as Push Moli, which has limitations.
Push Moli relies on the best possible location data based on estimated coverage provided by adjacent cellular towers owned by telecommunications companies.
Location information from Push Moli is more accurate in metropolitan areas than in the regions where the location is sometimes only narrowed to 100-kilometre radius.
Whereas AMS works via mobile geolocation, so when a caller dials emergency services, more precise location coordinates are provided automatically.
"AML will find the callers' location details to within metres which will be automatically sent to the triple zero call centre," Mr Fletcher said.
"Providing automatic location information will save lives, it will keep Australians safer."
Triple Zero receives up to 27,000 calls nationally each day and around 78 per cent of these calls originate from a mobile phone.
Over 99 per cent of Android phones already have access to AML technology - Android mobile devices running Android operating system 4.1 and higher with Google Play Services installed.
iPhone users, with model 6S or above, must update to iOS 14.3 for AML to be activated.
Apple watches can also access the technology on Series 3 or later once update 7.2 has been installed.
"Daily our emergency services don't know where they are, sometimes its because of geographically where they are, sometimes its because of their injuries or stress in the situation," Officer in Charge of the Combined Operations Group. Ian Parrot. said.
AML has been developed for emergency services by Apple and Google, with the assistance of Telstra who is responsible for the operation of triple zero.
The rollout comes after widespread trials at NSW Fire and Rescue and NSW Police.
"The location of people is very important to us and all emergency services," Chief Superintendent Wayne Phillips from NSW Fire and Rescue said.
"One of the advantages with AML is that we can even locate people within buildings of the city of Sydney CBD.
"It will help us have a timely response and save lives."
Telstra is responsible for the operation of Triple Zero and has been working with Apple and Google to test AML for iPhone and Android devices, as well as with the mobile carriers and emergency service organisations, including NSW Police and NSW Fire and Rescue
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
About Triple Zero (000):
Triple Zero (000) is the primary national emergency number in Australia. The Emergency Call Service is operated by Telstra as a condition of its telecommunications license, and is intended only for use in life-threatening or time-critical emergencies. Other emergency numbers in Australia are 112 for GSM mobile and satellite phones, which is answered by a Triple Zero (000) operator and 106 for TDD textphones. Triple Zero (000) was also the emergency number in Denmark and Finland until the introduction of the 112 number in 1993.
Published: Thursday, December 17, 2020
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