One of the problems with the proliferation of smartphones is that they have complicated the lives of 911 dispatchers. A call from a land line will give the dispatcher the location of the person in an Emergency and can, therefore, facilitate the dispatch of police and EMTS. But a mobile phone will often display just the nearest cell tower as the location of the call. Often someone calling for an emergency is in too much distress to give an address or other location.

However, according to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, the town of Keller in Tarrant County Texas is taking 911 into the 21st Century with an Uber-style app that will give the dispatcher more information to work with.

The app is called Siren GPS. Instead of having to dial 911 and talk to a dispatcher, the app triggers a request for emergency services and pinpoints the person triggering it 90 percent of the time.

The caller will even be able to upload medical history and other pertinent information with just a few keystrokes. An FCC study suggests that if this system were rolled out nationwide, it could save 10,000 lives a year.

Call it Uber for emergencies as it runs on the same principle as the ride-sharing app that summons a car to your location to take you to where you need to go. It turns your mobile phone into something like those life alert devices that older people get in case they have fallen and cannot get up.

As anyone who has dealt with emergency services, seconds can sometimes be the difference between life or death, whether someone has broken into one's house or whether a coronary event has started to rob one of life. An app that can be keyed in a few seconds as opposed to an old-fashioned phone call that can take a minute or more will be as much an advance to getting emergency care as the original 911 system was when it was first introduced in the late 1960s.

911 was slow to catch on, with some communities lacking the service as late as the 1980s. One should hope that the Uber for emergencies will be adopted quicker than that.

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