Know Your Hand-Held Technology When Calling 911

May 14, 2014

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Wednesday, May 14, 2014 

Know Your Hand-Held Technology When Calling 911

Technology has advanced to a point where many mobile devices including smart phones, Personal Digital Assistants (PDA) and Personal Navigation Devices are installed with Global Positioning System (GPS) locators.  Knowledge of how to properly use these devices can provide 911 communicators with an avenue to locate members of the public who have become lost or are in medical distress, and require immediate assistance.

The Greater Sudbury Police Service has partnered with Greater Sudbury Emergency Services Fire & Paramedic Divisions to educate the public on the benefits of using this technology. 

Each year, emergency personnel respond to a number of situations where members of the public require assistance, often in remote locations. In an emergency situation, the GPS locator function needs to be activated in order to provide coordinates of the current location, within a reasonable radius. In this situation, the caller must be able to follow the instructions provided by the communicator. 911 communicators can track locations through photos and emails. The key to this technology is: knowing and understanding your mobile device and its functions.

This technology does have limitations and requires the area to have mobile phone coverage. It’s also important to note that technology cannot replace basic safety planning while enjoying the outdoors. Remember to ensure your mobile device is fully charged. Always leave an itinerary with a friend or family member and be sure to pack a first aid kit, food, and water.

Device users are encouraged to contact their service provider to find out more about their operating device and its GPS capabilities.

Greater Sudbury Police Service has developed an educational video, found at, which demonstrates the benefits of knowing your technology and how it can help you and your loved ones in an emergency situation.