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Burlington Fire Department now using innovative location app, what3words


Burlington Fire Department now using innovative location app, what3words

The Burlington Fire Department is now using the location app what3words to help locate anyone who needs assistance and cannot provide an exact location, such as on a trail, in a forested area, park, parking lot or even in a large building such as an arena or community centre.

The app is free to use and can work offline when there is unreliable or no data connection.

what3words has divided the world into three-metre squares and given each square a unique combination of three words. Dodging.late.thuds, for example, is a precise three-metre square near the Burlington Pier. Splint.cashier.tinted is a precise location in City View Park, which would be otherwise difficult to convey where you are to a 9-1-1 telecommunicator.

Other emergency services using what3words include Toronto EMS, Oakville Fire Department, Halton Hills Fire Department, Halton Regional Police Service and Guelph Fire Department.

About what3words

what3words is the simplest way to talk about location. The system covers the entire world, never needs updating, and works offline. A what3words address is a human-friendly way to share very precise locations with other people, or to input them into platforms and machines such as autonomous cars or e-commerce checkouts.

Burlington City Hall’s unique three-word code using What3Words app

The free what3words app, available for iOS and Android, and the online map enable people to find, share and navigate to what3words addresses in over 40 languages. A 3-word address in one language can be switched instantly into any other supported language, and even looked up in one language and shared in another.

For more information, visit

Said Karen Roche, Chief, Burlington Fire Department, “In 2020, the Burlington Fire Department responded to more than 27,000 calls; on many of those calls, the caller was not able to provide an exact location. Every second a crew searches for a caller could mean their chances of a positive outcome is reduced. The faster we can get to the person, the better the outcomes. Please consider downloading the app for yourself and teach your children how to use it as well.”

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