Dubai Police patrols will have the ability to accurately locate the location of emergency callers using a new system, an official said on Tuesday.
The new system, called the smartphone Emergency Location Service (ELS) via GPS, has been launched in partnership with Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA), Google and Apple, which will locate the caller location accurately.
The service is designed to provide precise location information to first responders during an emergency.
The location will be transmitted when a smartphone user contacts the emergency number, according to Major General Abdullah Khalifa Al Merri, commander-in-chief of Dubai Police.
He said the new service provides more accurate location information than the “LBS service” used in the operations room to determine locations. The old service depended on the nearest Etisalat tower to determine locations, which was a major obstacle to reach the caller’s location fast.
“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. We aim to implement the new service in the near future with UAE’s police departments under the umbrella of the Ministry of Interior, which will standardise the methodology of interaction with emergencies,” Maj Gen Al Merri said in statement.
Major General Eng Kamel Butti Al Suwaidi, director of Operations Department at Dubai Police, 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.
“Providing the new service to police patrols will make it easier to find the precise location of the caller in a short time,” Al Suwaidi said.
Once the caller phones emergency numbers (999 - 911-112), the phone sends a free text message containing his location accurately to Dubai Police.
Al Suwaidi explained that the free service neither track callers’ smartphones nor saves their locations.
“All information will be deleted as a soon as Dubai Police receives the emergency request. Its main purpose is to accelerate the patrols’ response process to reach callers’ exact locations and to rescue them in a short time,” said Al Suwaidi.
Meanwhile, Brigadier Khalid Ghanim Al Merri, deputy director general of operations for communications and technology in Dubai Police, said that this service is only available on smartphone devices using Android 4 System Version and above, as well as any iPhone with IOS 13 or above operating systems.
“This service does not need to be downloaded and installed, but it is automatically activated when the smartphone is registered in a network service provider in the UAE. It will locate the caller accurately,” Brig Al Merri said.