Emergency Location Details

Discussion in 'CycleChat Cafe' started by PaulSB, 30 Dec 2018.

  1. PaulSB

    PaulSB Legendary Member

    Cutting a long story short on Friday I was involved in helping a crashed and badly injured cyclist. The guy was lucky we came across him only moments after the accident which was in a very isolated spot.

    I spent a lot of time on the phone with the emergency services. We knew our location but found it very difficult to get this through to the call handler. This is my third experience of the issue.

    My understanding is 999 calls capture the phone number but not location. Two questions:

    I've been told dialling 211 or 112 will capture location for the call handler. I can't find anything to back this up. Is it true?

    Any suggestions on the simplest way for an ordinary cyclist with smart phone and poor signal to easily get accurate location data?. In the group we had Wahoo's, Garmins and a range of phones.
  2. Profpointy

    Profpointy Guru

    To clear up one point dialling different emergency numbers will make no difference whatsoever.

    Presumably a grid reference is the best option, but I have heard of postcodes being asked for which is of courae silly if your not in (your own) house
  3. OP

    PaulSB Legendary Member

    Thanks @Profpointy. Your point re grid reference is, I'm sure, correct however I wouldn't know how to get that without a nap. If I had a map I could do it but badly!!
  4. Slick

    Slick Veteran

    Profpointy is right, different numbers go to the same call handlers. Where I used to live, the call centre for managing emergency calls was removed locally and transferred to larger centres in the city much like every other small town in the country. On the way home late one night from a wedding we came across what turned out to be a fatal road crash and I called 999 to get help and I knew precisely where I was, exact distance from a well known local landmark, exactly how far north of another local town but trying to explain all that to someone who's never left the central belt was frustrating.
  5. Brains

    Brains Guru

    I recently attended a mountain emergency course
    we were told that using 112 gives the authorities the ability to triangulate a rough position
  6. Drago

    Drago Flouncing Nobber

    Lowland Rescue Search Manager and Lost Person Behaviour expert checking in ;)

    It is untrue. none of the emergency services can directly track your calls source and location themselves. They have to apply to your service provider - for investigations it takes an age, but for emergencies there's a hotline to each SP and they can get the data fairly quickly, perhaps under 10 minutes. However, GSM tracking is not the exact science people believe it to be, and the results can be an ellipse of probability ranging from a few tens of metres to a few dozen kilometers along its long axis, depending on where you are in the country and the type of cell or THS your phone is currently locked on to.

    It's more accurate if your're in an urban area and your WiFi is on, as it might be seeing visible nearby WiFi hotspots and routers, and this data can locate you fairly precisely. the downside is that it takes the cooperation of multiple service providers of various sorts and can take a while, even when they're getting a move on.

    If you have a 'find my phone' type app installed and are able to give the passwords then most force's control rooms have an in-house intelligence officer who can log in to your account and locate you from that.

    As above, no they can't directly. MREW (with whom I cross-train and am qualifed) have a system called SarLoc. If you have a smart phone they send yoo a link, you can click on it, access the app, and they can then trace you fairly accurately that way. However, that relies on you actively being conscious, having functioning GPS, the weather conditions being such that you can get a GPS lock with a mere phone (although modern handsets are superb in that regard now), being able to understand and co-operate with their instructions, and having mobile internet access and some data allowance remaining, and the battery life to do all that. If all those things come together then they can then locate you fairly well. However, if you're unconscious, or conscious and have better things to do (like busy giving first aid to yourself or another) then they have to fall back on good old fashioned search theory.
    Last edited: 30 Dec 2018
  7. Tenacious Sloth

    Tenacious Sloth Über Member

    Huntingdon, UK
    I know that my Mio Cyclo GPS has a menu option that gives you the coordinates of your current location.

    Do Garmins etc. Not have a similar option?
    Drago likes this.
  8. Drago

    Drago Flouncing Nobber

    All my Garmins do. Police mapping will accept all the common formats of co-ordinates, as well as gazeteer (postcode and address) locations.
  9. OldShep

    OldShep Well-Known Member

    Can’t speak for Android phones,but, if you’ve an Apple phone open up the Compass app. You’re exact coordinates are displayed there at the bottom of the screen.
  10. Drago

    Drago Flouncing Nobber

    And a pencil sharpened at both ends and a piece of paper is invaluable to write them on so you can then use the same phone to make the call.
    wheresthetorch, Nibor, lane and 3 others like this.
  11. numbnuts

    numbnuts Legendary Member

    North Baddesley
    On android use OsmAnd app
    Pat "5mph" likes this.
  12. Dirk

    Dirk If 6 Was 9

    Devon's Gold Coast
    Can't you share your location using Google Maps?
  13. ianbarton

    ianbarton Well-Known Member

    Drago likes this.
  14. wisdom

    wisdom Veteran

    Osm locate is good.
    Bobby Mhor likes this.
  15. nickyboy

    nickyboy Norven Mankey

    Same on Android phones. If you have a smart phone this is the best way to define your location when out in the back of beyond
    Just put phone on speaker and open the app, no need for pencil and paper
    Sharing Google Maps is only any good if you are communicating with another mobile. If you're ringing emergency services it isn't much use
    Pat "5mph" and OldShep like this.
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