Police are urging residents of Bolton to download the app that could save your life

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Police are urging people to download an app that could make the difference between life and death.

what3words is a revolutionary way to communicate people’s location, which is vital in an emergency.

It divided the world into a grid of 3m x 3m squares, giving each square a unique combination of three words – a what3words address.

What three words know the exact location of a place from the side of a highway to remote areas..

The app is free to download for both iOS and Android and works completely offline – making it ideal for use in parts of the UK with an unreliable data connection, such as rural back roads and motorways.

The application is now used by more than 85 per cent of the UK’s emergency services – police, fire and ambulance – and has become a key tool in the emergency toolkit.

While not intended to replace traditional safety equipment, the technology has saved dispatchers and responders valuable time and resources in the event of an emergency.

A spokesman for Greater Manchester Police said: “‘Where’s the emergency?’ is one of the first questions you’ll be asked when you call 999, but describing exactly where you are can be challenging.

“Emergencies can happen anywhere from a remote field in rural Wales to the side of the M1 or in the middle of Hyde Park.

“Services often cannot automatically detect where you are and dropped pins are difficult to explain over the phone.

“Landmark-based descriptions are error-prone and GPS coordinates are long and difficult to communicate.

“At best, this is a frustrating drain on resources.

At worst, this could mean the difference between life and death.

“Emergency services are trained to collect as much location information as possible from callers and have access to a number of different technologies and methods that help them identify callers’ locations – of which what3words is one.

“what3words has been used a number of times to help us ensure that our resources are directed exactly where help is needed, fast.”

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Superintendent Gareth Parkin of GMP’s Safer Transport Team said: “Greater Manchester Police have partnered with what3words and has proven to be a great success and in some cases lifesaving for critical incidents in remote locations or hard to identify areas.

“what3words is fantastic and I strongly urge those who do have access to a mobile phone or tablet to download the app and if you need to identify your exact location to the specific coordinate you can be reassured in the knowledge that we know exactly where you are and can quickly provide you with the support you need.

“Sometimes it’s difficult and very distressing when you don’t know where you are, or you can’t find help, or you can’t describe where you are.

“If you were to call us in an emergency, you can tell our GMP call handlers your three simple words and we can inform our agents and other emergency services where to go.”

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