Today, the Saudi Red Crescent Authority announces it has partnered with what3words, helping those in need of medical attention to be found faster and respond to incidents more effectively. The partnership, launching ahead of the busy Hajj period, will enable callers to use 3 word addresses, providing a simple way to describe precisely where help is needed.
what3words has divided the globe into 3m x 3m squares and given each one a unique 3 word address. It is one of the most advanced systems in emergency operations in the world. ///seagull.shorter.hobbit for example, will take you to the front entrance of Ar Riyāḑ, Riyadh. The app is free to download for both iOS and Android, or by browser, and works offline – making it ideal for use in areas with an unreliable data connection. The 3 word address format is also consistent anywhere in the world, and available in 36 languages, including Arabic.
If the caller does not have the application, the call room receiver will send an SMS to the caller with a link to a 3-word address map and be asked to read the three words on the screen.
Engineer Abdulelah Al-Taweel the Director General of Information Communication Technology of the Saudi Red Crescent Society, explained that the application will add precision to the Saudi Red Crescent Society ID locating dispatch operations that deals with incidents that are difficult to locate accurately and this is what faces the future of the calls to the operating rooms, which requires them at times to take many details of the location and surrounding features to reach for a clearer picture of the location of the caller with the possibility of inaccuracy, and this drains valuable time is lost.
Engineer Abdulelah Al-Taweel further explained that the application enables the Red Crescent Authority in developing the system of emergency services in the Kingdom, especially in the Hajj season. This application helps to reach emergency cases accurately in the areas of Hajj.
The Saudi Red Crescent Society will utilize this application for the Hajj season, to enable users to submit the address to the Operations Room of the Saudi Red Crescent in a way that helps the emergency teams to reach the square in the least time possible and contribute to saving the lives of others.
Chris Sheldrick, CEO of what3words adds, ‘Being in need of urgent help and not being able to easily describe where you are can be very distressing for the person involved and a really difficult situation for emergency services. Today people nearly always have their phone on them. We need to use the tools at our disposal to improve public services and potentially save lives. what3words and the Saudi Red Crescent Authority encourages everyone to download the free app to make sure they are ready to quickly share accurate location information, should the worst happen.”
what3words began operations in Saudi Arabia in 2017, and is now accepted across a number of platforms including Mobility (EasyTaxi), E-commerce (Virgin Megastore, Shop&Ship, Abdul Latif Jameel, etc), and will soon be utilised by Saudi Tourism in order to help the increasing number of tourists travelling across the Kingdom, find where they want to go.