NPS has integrated what3words into its Control Room geographic information system (GIS) location software, NPS xc. This adds extra functionality and scope to their policing solution. The move will greatly benefit control rooms and emergency dispatch teams, giving them more ability to accurately locate emergencies. Faster response times, reduced cost in resources and, ultimately, more lives being saved are key benefits from this latest integration and innovative move.
Emergency services across the UK are already implementing what3words in control rooms. The software enables response teams to determine the location of emergencies with incredible precision, regardless of where they are.
The software works by overlaying a 3m x 3m square grid across the world map. Each grid has three random words attributed to it; giving it a unique three-word address. For example, ///worry.blending.play places you within feet of the North Pillar entrance for the Eiffel Tower. The same principle can be applied to practically any location in the world, regardless of how remote it might be.
Imagine someone comes across a badly injured hiker somewhere along a remote route, such as on the moors or along a mountain track. They might roughly know where they are but cannot say with any true accuracy. With what3words, available in both browser and as an app, they can determine their location to just three metres of where they are; giving response teams a relevant pinpoint location to get to.
Control Room handlers use the software in a similar way. With the three words provided by the caller, the handler types them into NPS xc as a location reference. The system will then automatically display and zoom into the relevant map to show the caller’s exact location.
NPS GIS solutions already set the national standard for police location systems, having been used by most UK police forces since 1999. Paul Roberts, Head of Product Strategy and Innovation for NPS Operational Safety, notes:
“The integration of NPS GIS with what3words – as requested by our users – offers Control Room operators the ability to seamlessly and quickly ascertain the location of the caller requesting the help of Emergency Services; this is particularly invaluable in rural areas where there are no other means to identify a caller’s position.”
NPS xc allows Control Room operators to effectively manage resources and allocate the most suitable solution to an incident, reducing response time and increasing performance. The integration of what3words is a positive step forward for the software and will greatly benefit Control Room teams to deliver a safer, faster service.