Trust joins national week of action to help callers with what3words

Shaunna Farley – Monday 25th July – 09.00am.

West Midlands Ambulance Service is encouraging the public to download the free what3words app, to help us find you in an emergency.

From Monday 25th July – Sunday 31st July, it will be #KnowExactlyWhere week, a summer safety campaign to raise awareness of the free app and how you can use it in an emergency.

The Trust now regularly gets calls from members of the public, particularly when they are in rural locations, who provide us with the three words which allows us to pinpoint the exact location of the casualty, fast.  

What3words has divided the world into a grid of 3 metre squares and given each square a unique identifier made of three random words – a what3words address, which can save vital time in an emergency.

‘What’s the address of the emergency?’ is one of the first four questions you are asked when calling 999 but describing exactly where emergency services should go can be challenging.   Although our call handlers are trained to gather as much location information as possible from callers, using What3Words makes that much easier.

Integrated Emergency Urgent Care & Performance Director, Jeremy Brown, said: “Emergencies can happen anywhere, from a remote hillside in the Staffordshire Moorlands to the side of the M6 motorway, or the middle of Coventry City Centre.   If we are able to get accurate location details from the caller quickly, it reduces the amount of time that it takes for our ambulances to get to the patient which could make a real difference to the outcome.

“We will continue to take map grid references, eastings and northings, GPS plots, postcodes and road names as alternatives. 

“It is also important to remember that this technology doesn’t replace the traditional ‘must-pack’ outdoor safety gear for hikes, camping trips, and other outdoor adventures; the app just makes finding you much easier if things do go wrong.”


The app is free to download for both iOS and Android and works offline – making it ideal for use in areas with an unreliable data connection, such as beaches, national parks and campsites.  What3words can also be used via the online map at The app is available in 51 languages, and can be used anywhere in the world.

For more information visit


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