Picture used for illustrative purpose only.
The Dubai Police has recently launched smartphone Emergency Location Service (ELS) via GPS in partnerships with Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA), "Google" and "Apple" companies.
The service is designed to provide very accurate and precise location information to first responders during an emergency. The location will be transmitted when a smartphone user contacts the emergency number.
Major General Abdullah Khalifa Al Marri, Commander-in-Chief of Dubai Police, said this comes in line with the leadership's vision in achieving the world's shortest emergency response time by 2021.
"The Dubai Police is always keen to be proactive in adopting the best technologies and modern systems that contribute to providing better services to the public according to international standards."
"We aim to introduce and implement this service in the near future with UAE's police agencies in the country under the umbrella of the Ministry of Interior, which will standardize the methodology of interaction with emergencies," Al Marri added.
The Commander-in-Chief also pointed out that the new service provides more accurate location information than the "LBS service" used in the operations room to determine the locations, which sometimes gives close yet not accurate location with displacement exceeds one kilometre.
From his part, Major General Eng. Kamel Butti Al Suwaidi, director of Operations Department, said that over 70 per cent of calls to emergency services come from mobile phones, but locating these mobile callers can be a major issue. Therefore, providing the new service in the police patrols will make it easier to find the precise location of the caller in short time.
Al Suwaidi pointed out that once the caller calls emergency numbers (999 - 911-112), his phone sends a free text message containing his location accurately to Dubai Police's file server, which designed and programmed to provide the Command & Control Centre with the GPS coordinates.
Al Suwaidi explained that the free service neither track callers’ smartphones nor save their locations. All information will be deleted as a soon as Dubai Police received the emergency request.
Its main purpose is to accelerate the patrols’ response process to reach caller’s exact location and to rescue them in the shortest time possible without fail. Unlike the old service that depends on the nearest Etisalat tower to determine locations, which was a major obstacle to reach the caller's location fast.
Brigadier Dr. Eng. Khalid Ghanim Al Marri, Deputy Director-General of Operations for Communications and Technology said that this service is only available in any smartphone device using the operating of Android 4 System Version and above, as well as any iPhone with IOS 13 Operating system and above.
This service does not need to be downloaded and installed, but it is automatically activated when registering the smartphone in network service provider in the UAE.
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