An important and potentially life-saving technology was rolled out this week at the Triple Zero Emergency Call Service allowing the call centre to get a location from any caller that dials 000 from a mobile phone.
It’s called Advanced Mobile Location, and using in-built technology in the Google Android operating system, as well as the latest technology in iOS 14.3 for iPhones.
While it might seem quite simple, work had to be done at both the Triple Zero call centre which is managed by Telstra, as well as with all the Aussie telcos and of course Google and Apple.
It works by allowing an “AML enabled” smartphone to recognise that you’ve called emergency services (either via 000 or 112), and when you do activates the location service functions of the phone.
Your phone then uses any information available including Mobile network information, GPS and WiFi to calculate the caller location.
After a location is established, your phone sends an SMS with the estimated location to the Emergency Call Service which can then be used during the response to the call.
It takes around 25 seconds for location to be established and sent to Triple Zero.
You won’t see the SMS in your messages log, and you can’t retrieve it in any way.
Any Android phone running Android 4.1 or later (which is most!) will be able to use the service, assuming Google Play Services is installed – You’ll know this is working if you can download any app from the Google Play store. An app download is NOT required to enable this feature.
For iPhone users, this works on the iPhone 6S and later, as well as Apple Watches with GPS and Cellular. iPhones must be running iOS 14.3, Apple Watches must be running watchOS 7.2 or later.
A huge advance for our emergency responders, and hopefully lives can be saved as a result.
Around 78 per cent of calls to Triple Zero are made from a mobile meaning this should have a significant impact on emergency operations.