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Three words to save a life

(Cartoon by George Longley)

With just three words, firefighters in Oshawa can now locate those in distress much quicker.

The what3words app allows firefighters to precisely pin down where a person is located in an emergency. Oshawa Fire Services is the first fire department in Canada to make use of the app.

When the user opens the app, it provides three words which identify exactly where that person is using a 3×3 metre square grid.

If the user were to move outside of the grid, it would provide a new set of words.

This app will help firefighters to locate individuals who are in danger in a variety of different situations, including house fires, as well as those in need of help in a wooded area or a park.

Oshawa Fire Chief Derrick Clark also points out it can be helpful on Highway 401, as people are often unaware of exactly where they are on the dangerous stretch of highway.

Firefighters can easily locate them and firefighters won’t be found going to the wrong exit and being forced to turn around.

Another way the app can be used is for those who see a fire. They can inform firefighters of their location by using the app if they aren’t sure what the exact address is.

There is a flaw in the app however, and that is for those who are unable to reach their phone, or simply don’t have one. They will be forced to rely on others who do.

However, this is ultimately a win for Oshawa Fire Services and for Oshawa.

To be the first fire service in Canada to implement the what3words app helps Oshawa Fire Services move ahead of the curve.

Not only that, but it will make things safer for residents and firefighters, as they will have a better idea of the situation before going in.

For Oshawa firefighters, saving a life can now be as simple as three words.