PEOPLE LIVING OR working in Moray’s rural areas are being invited to help emergency services locate their homes or businesses by using a small piece of modern technology.
All of Scotland’s emergency services have come together in encouraging people to download a new app for their smartphone that can give emergency service call handlers an exact Ordnance Survey grid reference.
That in turn can be used to accurately plot their location – and so reduce the time it takes to respond to incidents.
Chief Inspector Stuart Simpson of Police Scotland’s Contact, Command and Control Division and a member of the Scottish Partnership Against Rural Crime (SPARC), explained: “By giving the Eastings and Northings, the geo-locator apps provide an easy way for people in rural areas to give their location when calling the emergency services.
“This information can then be used by the control centre operators to plot the exact location and direct the police officer, fire crew or ambulance to the incident. We hope that this would improve the contact from and reporting of incidents from those who live, work or visit our rural areas.”
The app solves many long-standing issues in particular for those who may live or work at locations miles from listed road. ‘Geo-Location’ apps can be downloaded and used for free, including such as the ‘OS Locate’ app which is produced by Ordnance Survey.
Daren Mochrie, Director of Service Delivery, Scottish Ambulance Service, said: “Our air and road ambulance teams respond to 999 calls for assistance from remote and rural areas across Scotland.
“While they are supported by sophisticated mapping and GPS systems, any additional location information from the scene that highlights local landmarks will help crews to locate patients as quickly as possible.”
Assistant Chief Officer Lewis Ramsay, from the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service, added: “The Scottish emergency services all receive calls from the public who are not always familiar with their location.
“We therefore welcome any use of technology that could assist the ability of emergency services to detect people in need in rural areas.”
For more information on the OS Locate app and links to download it for Android or iOS devices visit https://www.ordnancesurvey.co.uk/shop/os-locate