What 3 Words

The Hayward Police and Fire Departments have officially adopted what3words to help locate callers more quickly during emergencies

Accurate location information is crucial in emergencies, and the faster the location is confirmed, the faster help can be dispatched. What3words allows callers and dispatchers to communicate precise locations effectively.

What3words is a geocoding system that divides the world into a grid of 10-foot by 10-foot squares, each identified by a unique combination of three words. This system simplifies finding exact locations, even in areas with confusing or missing addresses.

The Hayward Police and Fire Departments utilize what3words in three ways for emergency response:

  1. Integration with CAD System: What3words is integrated into the Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD) system, allowing dispatchers to quickly create an incident at the caller's precise location, even without an associated address. This information can be shared with responding resources on their mobile data computer maps, enabling rapid navigation to the caller's exact location.

  2. Text Message Link: If a caller’s location is not available, dispatchers can send a text message with a link. When clicked, it opens a webpage showing the caller’s current what3words location.

  3. Caller-Provided what3words Address: If a caller knows the what3words address of the emergency (for example, from the what3words app or a physical sign), they can provide the dispatcher with the three-word address. The dispatcher can then look up and verify the caller’s location.

Hayward Communications Operators have successfully tested the program. For instance, a dispatcher recently used what3words to locate a distressed caller experiencing a medical emergency. The exact location was determined, and the man received prompt medical treatment thanks to what3words.

The Hayward Police and Fire Departments encourage everyone to download the what3words app as an additional tool for emergencies. The app is available for iOS and Android and can also be accessed via a free online map. It works offline, making it ideal for remote areas or places with poor internet connectivity.

Download the what3words app today to ensure you can be located quickly in an emergency.