Members of the Ontario Community Emergency Assistance Program (OCEAP Search and Rescue) were out training near the Cobourg Conservation area on April 22nd. The Search and Rescue volunteers were training on the What3Words application. The What3Words application has been adopted by many emergency services groups in the area including Port Hope Fire and Emergency Services, Northumberland County Paramedics and the Ontario Provincial Police.
What3Words breaks down the entire planet into 3 metre square blocks, assigning a unique set of 3 words to each location. By using this unique set of words, the emergency services can easily identify where a person is located and send help. Members of the public are encouraged to install this application on their phone.
OCEAP Search and Rescue have been using this application for some time but recently decided to extend the apps use during evidence or missing person searches by documenting hazards in the field, where a clue may be located or where a victim or evidence has been found. This replaces the use of the more complex GPS coordinates used by the search team in the past.
Curtis Kimball, Commanding Officer of OCEAP explains. “The What3Words application allows our Search and Rescue crews to immediately send important location data directly from a field location to the Search Manager at the Command Post by text message. This method speeds up the transfer of information, eliminates the risk of an erroneous GPS location as well as providing a date and time stamped record on the Search Manager and Crews phone.”
OCEAP Search and Rescue serve the Port Hope and Cobourg Police Services as well as providing disaster assistance throughout Northumberland County. What3Words app is available for Android and iPhones.