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Posted on: December 9, 2020

Mountain Valley Emergency Communications Center Implements "what3words" Technology

Millburn Short Hills First Responder ambulances driving into distance

Mountain Valley Emergency Communications Center (MVECC), a regional public safety answering point serving the communities of New Providence, Summit, and Millburn, New Jersey, announces the adoption and implementation of “what3words” location identification technology. MVECC is the first public safety answering point in the state and the first in the northeastern part of the nation to operationalize this groundbreaking location identification tool.

London-based technology company what3words started the rollout of its innovative location technology to Emergency Services in the UK and South Africa in 2019, and Australia and Canada in 2020. What3words has been used thousands of times to find people needing help. Using what3words addresses gives callers a simple way to describe precisely where help is needed and allows emergency response crews to get resources straight to the scene.

Chris Sheldrick, CEO of what3words says “Every month, people all around the world struggle to communicate their location to emergency services. This leads to crucial minutes and sometimes hours lost when trying to save lives. It’s exciting to hear that Mountain Valley Emergency Communications is the first emergency communications center to start using what3words in New Jersey, and we are looking forward to working with them as they embrace new technologies, like ours, to help save lives.”

Executive Director D. Jeremy DeMar, MA, CPE, ENP added “In an emergency, knowing where to send help is of utmost importance. Since emergencies can occur anywhere, if a person experiencing a problem in an obscure location is unable to provide accurate address information to one of our 9-1-1 dispatchers, using what3words technology, MVECC’s emergency communications professionals can enter a unique three word sequence (provided by the 9-1-1 caller) into the application, which in turn displays a precise location for the caller. When conventional emergency location measures are not possible, the what3words application will be an ideal resource for our 9-1-1 professionals and will most certainly save precious time when it comes to locating a person experiencing an emergency in our community.”

The application works by using the pre-downloaded app on a smart device when someone calls 9-1-1, or by having MVECC send the caller a text message with a link to click which gives the caller the assigned words of their location, which can then be provided to the 9-1-1 dispatcher.

MVECC expects internal testing and training to be completed by December 18, 2020, with go-live scheduled shortly thereafter. The what3words app is free and available to download for iOS and Android. Persons experiencing an emergency should always call 9-1-1 first.

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