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02/03/2016

Spain: Two hikers lost in weekend storms found dead

Accurate caller location could have helped.


Have you ever taken a walk in the forest or a hike in the mountains? Then you know how easy it is to get lost.

But what happens if you need assistance and you are not sure about your location? In most European countries, caller location in an emergency is not sufficient: it takes time and lacks accuracy.

Three hikers got lost in Valencia (Spain) last Saturday and asked for help from the emergency services due to extreme weather conditions. They dialled 112 saying that they were not aware exactly where they were, but they were “suffering from the cold”. Emergency services were unable to locate them. Rescue operations were difficult because of the severe weather. When they found one of them, he led them to the other two. Unfortunately, they had not survived.

Most European countries would face the same difficulties to locate the call. But why?

Is technology advanced enough to deal with this?

Yes. We already have the technology we would need to drastically improve the situation.

Do we have the resources to implement this technology?

Yes, with the cost being minimal, close to zero.

Should this be a priority?

Yes. European citizens have the right to quality emergency services.

Is there progress?

Yes. Many countries are currently testing, or are preparing to start testing, Advanced Mobile Location (AML), a solution to caller location in case of emergency.

Caller location in an emergency is not a complex or abstract request. It is a right of European citizens. We have all the tools, we just need to use them.

You can read the article as published in El Pais (English version) here.

You can read EENA's publication on Advanced Mobile Location here.