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Using smart phones in an emergency

Treating a head injury outdoors

We carry them in our pocket everyday but do we really know how essential a smart phone can be in an emergency?

A very common misconnection is that in an emergency the emergency services could find your location using your smart phone – and why wouldn’t this be true? After all we’ve seen it time after time in the movies!   Suffice it to say that this is only partly true. The technology is there but would only be used in extreme circumstances. <More here about the new Ofcom rules and when it is used>

However our phones can do some pretty amazing things often with apps that are already built into the phone. So here’s a few “Top Tips”:

Where am I?

Ever wondered what you might do if you were lost and needed to summon help? Well, all smart phones have a gps system built in which works on satellite technology. This is useful on a couple of levels. First you don’t need any phone signal for this to work (although you would need a signal to make a 999 call (see <blog> for why). It will pin point you location anywhere in the world so long as you aren’t underground or in a building with uber-thick walls!

If you own an iPhone the easiest way to get this information is to open the compass app (you may need to download this from the app store if you’ve deleted this or you own an iPhone <??> or later. Simply open the app and the below the compass at the bottom of the screen you will see a series of figures which is your longitude and latitude (if you remember your geography from school this is the way distance is measured around the world). This figure is accurate to within just a few 100 metres anywhere in the world! You will need to ensure your location <>> is turned on in settings.

Android phones have a similar function <<>>

OS Locate

The Ordnance Survey developed a free app a few years ago which can be used as part of a map navigation function when out walking. However, even if you are not a walker this app could be very helpful as it will show a six-figure grid reference and altitude of where you are. This is particularly helpful for the ambulance service, police and ,mountain rescue all of whom use the Great Britain Ordnance Survey grid system for locating people. This app does also offer the option of switching t longitude and latitude ofpreffered.

Emergency SOS

Echo 112

iPhone emergency button

Emergency SMS