Fire service uses smartphone app to find motorists trapped in Mountnessing flood water

Essex County Fire and Rescue Service firefighters used what3words, a free smartphone app to help locate three drivers who were trapped in floodwater in Mountnessing over the weekend.

After the service received a call from the drivers, a crew from Leigh Fire Station was sent to rescue three people who were unable to get out of their cars after becoming trapped in a flooded road.

The crew found the cars and sent the what3words location to their colleagues to help them reach the incident faster. what3words is a free smartphone app that helps you easily and accurately describe your location.

The app developers have broken the world down into trillions of 3m by 3m squares, each with a unique three-word address. These three words can then be used to pinpoint your location more accurately when sending emergency services to you.

DOUBLE.SUBMIT.WAKES were the three words that helped other firefighters reach the drivers quickly and between them, firefighters rescued three drivers using an inflatable raft called a sked.

Watch Manager Rick Willams from Leigh Fire Station said: “I’d really like to highlight the effectiveness of what3words, the app pinpoints the exact location and in this incident, enabled other crews and other officers to reach our exact location quickly.

“With the darker nights coming in and with Essex being quite rural in places, you might not always see a landmark that you can direct emergency services to. what3words is a great app to have ready on your phone to tell us, other emergency services or recovery vehicles exactly where you are.

“In our control room, our operators have an option to input the what3words location when mapping crews to an incident and we all have access to the app on our fire engine tablets. By giving the exactly location, we can reach you quickly when you need us. I’d encourage everyone to download what3words and to tell friends and family about it.”

The what3words app cam be uploaded at:

Mick Ferris

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