Thanks to smartphone victim localisation up to 20 people could be saved in Poland every day. Unfortunately, the Ministry of the Interior has other priorities.
AML technology (Advanced Mobile Location) lets emergency services locate a person calling the 112 emergency number thanks to the GPS receiver in his smartphone. With up to 5m accuracy. Methods used currently – based on location via the GSM transmitter the phone logs on to – can often let locate the caller only within a few kilometres.
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The number that saves lives
According to independent studies, carried out for the European Commission, the new technology shortens the time spent talking to an emergency operator by 30 seconds on average, and in case of rural areas even by 1,5 minutes.
New Zealand emergency services claim that the system saves 2-3 lives a day. In the case of nearly 8 times bigger Poland, it could be 20 people every day.
The new solution has one more incredibly important advantage. It solves the problem of people with limited speaking abilities or deaf, who aren’t able to call an ambulance by themselves.
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Polish interior ministry: – We currently have “other priorities”
There will be no AML in Poland for the time being. The interior ministry doesn’t want it, being sceptical towards this solution from the start. That’s what it looks like from the correspondence between a high-level [female] official, responsible in the ministry for the development of the 112 system, and the European Emergency Number Association (EENA112) promoting the technology, that “Wyborcza” got to.
After months of exchanging arguments with Brussels, the Ministry of the Interior cut the topic, claiming it had “no data about a case in Poland, where the caller had died due to insufficiently precise location”.
But in the press you can find numerous stories, e.g. of the operator sending the ambulance to a different town with a similar name, of rescuers being unable to find the victim due to a lack of number on the building, or when the call was made by a young child. It also happens, that a victim can be in shock or has lost consciousness, hence unable to give his or her precise location.
In an official reply sent to “Wyborcza”, the ministry claims that the old system used in Poland is working well and there’s no need to change it. On the other hand, AML has its flaws. For the moment it only works on phones with Android. But these constitute 95% of the smartphone market in Poland. And Apple is also considering implementing AML in its iPhones.
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Polish experts disagree with the interior ministry
– The current solutions are insufficient. AML on the other hand is reliable and guarantees getting the emergency caller’s location as fast and as precisely as possible. In developed countries it will soon be the standard. And we will be lagging behind them, instead of implementing the system immediately – says Pawel Dabrowa, lecturer and emergency number expert in EENA112.
The ministry is also criticised by Michal Boni, Civic Platform MEP, who as digitalisation minister in the Donald Tusk government was responsible for introducing the 112 emergency number in Poland: – According to the most conservative estimates of the European Commission, AML will save at least 7500 people within 10 years in the EU, also saving €95 billion on rescue operations. The costs of implementing the technology are covered by the EU. Why then does Poland oppose it?
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Disclaimer: The text above is a compilation of excerpts of the news article on AML in Poland. For the full content please click on the link below.
English translation done by EENA.