Thursday, 21 March 2013

Where am I?

I read something a few days ago that made me stop and think. It was a throw away comment by a paramedic. It seems that one of the problems that they have is finding properties that do not have an easy to see door number. Imagine that an emergency call has been made. The ambulance is on site in good time - but time is wasted looking for the correct address. It could be a matter of life and death!

Now, lets suppose your out on your boat, moored up for the night and someone is taken ill. You need to make an emergency call. Could you describe your exact location. Could you describe the best route to get to your boat?

Canal bridge numbers or lock names will be of little or no use at all, to the emergency services. They are looking for a house number, post code, road or street name. Just the stuff that's not readily available for mooring locations along the canal. 

About 15 years ago we lived on a busy cross road junction. From time to time we would hear the bang of an accident outside. A quick look through the door would confirm the diagnosis of yet another road traffic accident. We had a little sticker on the phone containing the "A" road numbers to aid the emergency services. Later, the road junction was staggered which helped to reduce the number of bumps. Later still the junction was converted into two mini-roundabouts. I think the accidents have now stopped.

Today, there are electronic devices that can pinpoint your exact location to within a few metres. It might be a cheap and cheerful satellite navigation system as used in your car. 

Alternatively it might be a map application on your android phone. The thing is, it would be easy to establish your location - yet at the same time it might be difficult in the heat of the moment if someone is suddenly taken ill.  You might well be using your android phone to make the emergency call. 

A quick check of your location when you moor up for the night night. Noting down any road names as well as any "A" and "B" road identification, might just save a life one day. It could even be yours! 



  1. Replies
    1. Hi Linda.

      As you get older you get wiser - However, in my case I just get a bit more careful. Today I shall throw away my comfortable time worn crocks and get a pair of much more sensible boating shoes. Now sporting a fractured finger, so such issues will now get my full attention!


  2. Hi Mike
    When Mags had her first stroke last November we were a couple of miles out of Macclesfield, near a business park, I gave the despatcher a six-figure OS grid reference, but apparently that was no use to them, the ambulance still had trouble.

    1. Hello Geoff and Mags.

      There are times of real need when we come to realise the limitations of the emergency services. Built on a mapping system intended to answer calls to fixed homes and businesses. We now have a Tom-Tom GPS to back-up mapping on the android phone.

      It's good to know that Mags is once more on the mend.



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