Positioning system to assist rescues

  • 2013-06-26
  • From wire reports

TALLINN - While currently the Estonian Rescue Center operator who responds to 112 calls made from mobile phones doesn’t know where the calls are coming from, starting this autumn, a system will be launched that will show the location of the person in need of help to rescue operators, rescuers and the ambulance service, reports Postimees.
“We have had cases when a person’s health condition has become so bad that they cannot give their address,” the rescue center director general Janek Laev said. Currently, the rescue center has to sometimes even contact the police to ascertain the location of a person who needs help.

The work to launch a location ascertaining system started in 2010, but the technology turned out to be more complicated than expected, said Laev.
Laev said that the Rescue Center, rescue services and emergency medical aid will get a common electronic map that shows the location of both the caller and the location of rescue trucks and ambulances, which should enable the assistance to reach people faster.

The new system is very valuable, for example, for traffic accidents in the countryside and for people lost in the woods, but not that much in cities since the positioning takes place on the triangulation basis. This means that the exactness of location is within 500-800 meters, which later hopefully will improve.
When a person calls from a fixed-line phone, their location can be seen exactly.
Positioning, or GIS–112, is a project that is financed in the framework of an Estonian-Swiss cooperation program. The budget is 1.5 million euros, 15 percent of which comes from the Estonian state and 85 percent from the Swiss state.