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Emergency+ app welcomed

Published 13/12/2013

The Victorian Coalition Government has welcomed the launch of a new app that will help people calling triple zero (000) identify their exact location when calling from mobile phones.

Minister for Police and Emergency Services Kim Wells said the Emergency+ app was a federal initiative that connects users to triple zero and utilises smartphone GPS technology to give the user their exact location by longitude and latitude.

"This is an important innovation that will enable people in trouble or difficulty to provide their precise location information to triple zero operators," Mr Wells said.

"People calling triple zero may be in unfamiliar surroundings with only limited understanding of their location details.

"They can also be under great stress as a result of their emergency, making it difficult for triple zero operators to get the information they need to dispatch emergency services.

"The location of a caller is the first most important piece of information the triple zero operator needs. This app has the potential to gather that information quickly and accurately."

Emergency+ was launched by the Commonwealth Minister for Justice Michael Keenan in Sydney last week.

It was developed by the national Triple Zero Awareness Working Group that includes emergency services agencies from the Commonwealth, states and territories. According to Victoria’s triple zero operator ESTA, 56 per cent of incoming calls to triple zero were made from mobile phones.

"This is a great innovation but one that we hope doesn’t need to be utilised often," Mr Wells said.

The app includes a button for triple zero as well as one that takes users to the dedicated SES line 132 500. These numbers are common throughout Australia.

There is a third button on the app for the Police Assistance Line (131 444) which is for non-emergency matters. Victoria Police do not yet provide this service but a project is underway to investigate the best way to connect Victorians to Police for non-emergency matters.

Download the app for Apple or Android devices today.