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Lost Hikers quickly located using what3words app

Lost Hikers quickly located using what3words app

Last week, two hikers became lost on the trails at Kelso Conservation Area in Milton. They contacted the Halton Regional Police Service (HRPS) via cellphone and requested assistance. Using the what3words app, the HRPS Communications Bureau was able to pinpoint the location of the missing hikers and direct officers to quickly return them to safety.

In a separate incident on July 3, another group of hikers contacted police when they became lost in the area of Hilton Falls Conservation Area. Due to poor cellphone signal, they were not able to download the what3words app to aid in determining their location.  The group was eventually located safely, with the assistance of the K9 Unit.

With the increase in use of hiking trails, parks, and conservation areas, the HRPS urge residents to download the what3words app.

The program has divided the world into 3 metre squares and assigned each square a unique combination of three words called a ‘what3words address.’ This address gives callers a simple way to describe precisely where help is needed and allows the HRPS to dispatch critical resources quickly, when every second counts.

The app is available for free on iOS and Android or via the online map at It’s also available in more than 40 languages. Once downloaded, the app is able to work offline, making it ideal for use in rural areas of Halton that may have poor or unreliable data signal.

For more information about how the program works, a video can be found here.

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