Google will help dispatchers locate emergency 999 callers

New service uses Wi-Fi, GPS and cell towers to get caller location data


UNITED KINGDOM — A new Google service launched in Europe will allow emergency callers to send their current location to dispatchers during 999 calls.

“Today, over 70% of calls to emergency services come from mobile phones, but locating these mobile callers can be a major issue,” reads the official announcement from Google Europe. “Accurate emergency location can be the difference between life and death.”

The new Emergency Location Service will use a combination of Wi-Fi, GPS and cell towers to produce accurate location data for dispatchers to find emergency callers.

Citing an official document from the FCC, Google adds that reducing the response time for emergency calls by just one minute could save over 10,000 lives annually.

Emergency Location Service is compatible with most Android devices, and will activate if supported by the area’s emergency infrastructure provider.

“Our service is already live today for people with Android phones in the UK and in Estonia,” the post reads. “We’ve collaborated with several mobile network operators and emergency services to make this possible.”

Google says it is working to make the service available internationally and are talking to other countries and service providers who would like to offer “better emergency location from Android devices.”

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