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Apple’s new iOS will share location of 911 calls

The upcoming operating system will automatically relay a caller’s location to dispatchers in an effort to “reduce emergency response times”

By EMS1 Staff

CUPERTINO, Calif. — An upcoming Apple operating system will include a feature that automatically relays the location of 911 callers to dispatchers.

The iOS 12 will relay location information to dispatchers in an effort to provide “faster and more accurate information to help reduce emergency response times,” according to according to a news release.

Apple is partnering with RapidSOS for the update and will use its Hybridized Emergency Location feature, or HELO, which was designed in 2015, to pinpoint locations using more than 6,000 call centers around the U.S.

“[Emergency response] infrastructure in the United States dates back to the 1960s and 1970s,” RapidSOS CEO Michael Martin said. “It’s a voice-only system that is designed around landline phone calls.”

Call centers will be able to pinpoint a caller’s precise location by using nearby cell towers, the phone’s own GPS signal and Wi-Fi access points.

“The device is recognizing that as an emergency call, and it is calculating a very accurate location, and it is transmitting it via us,” Martin said.