Sunday, March 18, 2012

GPS App Provides Location to 911 Dispatch

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While not directly related to the kinds of GPS articles we normally write, location accuracy in emergencies is a pretty hot and important topic in the world of GPS and is definitely something worth talking about. This topic has actually been in the news several times in the last year, as it was discovered that 911 emergency calls made from cell phones don’t provide the same location information to dispatchers as landlines.

As it turns out, cell phones really only provide a three to four block radius for possible location to dispatchers, requiring them to either try and figure out where a caller is vocally or to simply search for the person. However, an app has been recently released that utilizes GPS to provide better location to dispatch during emergencies.

bluelight map

The BlueLight app can provide far better accuracy for emergency calls.

The app, called BlueLight, is free to download for iOS and Android users and allows for 911 calls to be made through the app. The application will not only locate the nearest 911 center, but also provides precise information either to the dispatch or to the user who can then relay the information to dispatch.

“There is no situation where BlueLight will be worse than a 911 call and in 95 percent more situations BlueLight will be dramatically better than a 911 call,” Founder and CEO of BlueLight Preet Anand told Vidette Online.

In addition to providing 911 accuracy, the app also has several other safety and security features including allowing users to send notifications to contacts with location information for better safety when traveling alone or in the evenings.

For more information on the app and all its features, visit BlueLight’s website.


  1. Hi, member of Team BlueLight here. Thank you for the article! We’re thrilled for the opportunity to serve your community.

    Just wanted to provide a couple of quick clarifications. First: We decide which service to route the call to based on location, but that doesn’t only include 911; it also includes the emergency response for private security forces on dozens of college and corporate campuses, ski resorts, and even the Caltrain station, if you are currently within the area they serve. In that case, we do directly convey the caller’s location to the dispatcher, which can be accessed even if the caller can’t speak.

    In the case of 911, we pre-dial for the caller but do not provide the location directly (the call will be routed as a 911 call). Instead, we display the caller’s address directly over the dialer, so he or she can read it off to the dispatcher.

    Hope this clarifies – Thanks again!

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