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Google’s Technology Better Locates 911 Callers

Google’s Technology Better Locates 911 Callers


When people call in for emergencies, they are not always able to tell the 911 operator their location.

Operators have to rely on location information provided by the caller’s cell phone (if they are using one) and give emergency dispatch teams a rough estimate of where to find the caller. That can take valuable time.

Google provided location technology to Texas, Tennessee, and Florida as a free trial to determine how well it could assist with emergency response. EMTs and Paramedics were able to find 911 callers much faster than the usual mobile data method.

In fact, Google’s technology found callers within an average radius of 121 feet of their location. Compare that to the average radius of 522 feet found through mobile carrier data.


Three data points pinpoint locations


The technology relies on three data points to narrow the location of a 911 caller. Google uses a combination of Wi-Fi, GPS, and cell tower to pinpoint where a caller is located. These data points allow the location radius to be more accurate than ever before.

Why is this so important? The key to arriving on scene in a timely fashion is knowing the location of the caller. In emergencies, time is of the utmost importance. Technology that makes it easier to find patients means that more lives can be saved.

Google has plans to roll out this technology in more locations soon. EMS teams can use the technology to improve their response times and get to patients faster. Game-changing technology improves upon our current methods and makes the jobs of medical professionals easier to accomplish.


Time is everything


Federal regulators estimated that getting emergency responders to the scene 60 seconds faster could save an estimated 10,000 lives. In cases like cardiac arrests, every second counts. Life-threatening emergencies require fast response times. If ambulances are unable to locate the caller, they risk arriving to the scene too late to save the patient.

Dispatchers are not always able to get a precise location from a 911 caller. Some callers might not speak English very well, or they are in shock and unable to articulate their location. Google’s location technology helps dispatchers to get accurate information when it is needed the most.


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