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Dubai Police to use Android emergency location service

Under this, location is directly sent digitally from Android handsets to emergency services

Gulf News

Dubai: Dubai Police have rolled out their Android Emergency Location Service (ELS) to provide more accurate location information to first responders during an emergency situation.

The location is only transmitted when an Android smartphone user dials 999, the Dubai Police emergency number.

Brigadier Kamil Butti Al Suwaidi, director of Operations Department at Dubai Police, said 95 per cent of emergency calls come from mobile phones inside the country.

“Location is currently only available via cell tower triangulation, now ELS will provide highly accurate location when an emergency call is placed,” Brigadier Al Suwaidi said.

Android ELS is supported by over 99 per cent of existing Android devices (running at least Android 4.0), and built into Google Play Services. Location is directly sent digitally from Android handset to emergency services.

He pointed that the activation and implementation of this cutting-edge technology comes as per the directives of Major-General Abdullah Khalifa Al Merri, Commander-in-Chief of Dubai Police, to implement the security and safety recommendations emerging from the annual meetings of the UAE Government.

“The meetings recommended immediate identification of locations in emergency situation in the efforts of reducing the emergency response time. This is being done by strengthening the technical structure in the operations room by providing immediate location identification systems using satellite technology to reduce emergency response time,” he added.

Brig Al Suwaidi said the UAE is the first country to deploy the Android ELS in the Middle East and North Africa following 14 countries from around the world.

“In the former system, the margin of error in locating the caller can be hundreds of metres inside the city and even more outside the city. The new system will reduce response time and save lives,” he added.

Meanwhile, Nour Koudsi, head of Android Platform Business Development and Partnerships - Middle East at Google, praised the new partnership with Dubai Police.

“We jointly launched Android Emergency Location Service for the first time in the Middle East and North Africa. During emergencies, timely and accurate information is critical and by facilitating this, we aspire to help save lives and enhance the state of emergency services.” Koudsi said.

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