With the summer upon us and many of you planning activities out in the wonderful countryside we have here in our region – we are urging you to download the What3Words app to help us help you.
The app, which has divided the world up into three metre squares, each with a unique three-word address, is being used by both Avon and Somerset Police, Avon Fire and Rescue and the South Western Ambulance Service Trust that the region we cover here at GWAAC falls under.
In an emergency, it can be hard to know your exact location. We go to many patients in urgent need of our lifesaving care within rural areas. Whether you’re out for a walk along a rural footpath, cycling or horseriding, being able to narrow your exact location down to just 3 square metres will help both our crews and other emergency responders get to you quickly. We only respond to the most critically-ill or injured patients within our region, where our crew’s advanced specialist skills and equipment can mean the difference between life and death, and every second counts.
Our crews are dispatched by the Helicopter Emergency Medical Services (HEMS) desk, which is situated in Exeter. Any 999 calls that come through where a patient can benefit from our crew’s specialist and advanced skills will be monitored by those operating the HEMS desk, who will then dispatch our crew. You can find out more about how we are dispatched here.
We aim to be anywhere within the region within just 20 minutes, but having a precise location can help us narrow down suitable landing sites and routes to take to ensure we are by the patient’s side as quickly as possible.
GWAAC’s Air Operations Officer, John Wood, says: The What3Wordsw app can be a lifesaver. I would encourage everyone to download the app and become familiar with its use. The simple to use app will generate a three-word code to show your position within three metres – even if you are not sure of your location. This can then be passed to the HEMS control desk to alert our crews of your location. By using this technology, our Critical Care Team can be at the side of the patient in the shortest possible time.”
The app, which also works offline, is simple to use and free to download here. We urge you and your loved ones to download the app. Whilst we hope you will never need our services, our crews are right here and ready to respond if you do.