A phone app called “what3words,” recently assisted police in locating missing hikers in Milton.
According to police, on the evening of July 3, 2021, two hikers got lost on the trails at Kelso Conservation Area.
They then contacted the Halton Regional Police Service (HRPS) with their cellphone and requested assistance. Through the use of the “what3words” app, the HRPS Communications Bureau was able to pinpoint the exact location of the missing hikers and direct officers to return them to safety.
Additionally, in a separate incident on July 3, another group of hikers contacted police when they got lost in the area of Hilton Falls Conservation Area.
Due to poor cellphone signal, they were not able to download the “what3words” app to help determine their exact location. However, the group was eventually located safely with the assistance of the K9 Unit.
The HRPS is urging residents to download the app due to the increase in the use of hiking trails, parks and conservation areas.
According to police, the program divides the world into 3-metre squares and assigns each square a combination of three words called a “what3words address.” This gives callers a simple way to describe the exact location where help is needed while allowing the HRPS to dispatch critical resources quickly.
The app is available for free on iOS and Android or via the online map at what3words.com. It is also available in over 40 languages.
The app is able to work offline once downloaded, making it ideal for use in rural areas of Halton that may have a poor signal.
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