Finally, iPhone users’ 111 calls provide location info

The Government’s caller location system that provides emergency service operators with details of a caller’s location when they are using an Android phone has been extended to iOS devices, nine months after its launch.

MBIE deputy chief executive Brad Ward said the functionality had been added with Apple’s global release of iOS 11.3.

He described the development as “an important extension to the successful Emergency Caller Location Information (ECLI) service.”

However when it launched the service last July the Government did not seem to think support for iOS sufficiently important to mention its absence in the announcement.

Ward said more than 80 percent of 111 calls were now made from a mobile device. “In 2016 Police recorded more than 8,100 incidents where they had to make a special information request to a phone network provider for a caller’s location, due to being unable to verify the caller’s address.”

He added: “In the first six-months since the ECLI service was introduced, more than 400,000 genuine 111 calls were made to emergency services (Police, Fire and Emergency New Zealand, St John, and Wellington Free Ambulance). Around 35 percent of those calls involved emergency call takers using MBIE’s system to help verify a 111 mobile caller’s location.

“Feedback from emergency services is that the service has been vital in decreasing the time taken to verify the location of 111 mobile callers, and by reducing the average dispatch time for emergency events.

He said Apple iOS users would need only to install the iOS 11.3 update to activate the function on their phones.

Copyright © 2018 IDG Communications, Inc.

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