Send location in an emergency: this is how the nora app and automatic positioning work

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Most emergency calls are placed from cell phones. That’s why AML makes sure the caller’s cell phone automatically sends the location to the emergency dispatch center. Here is how it works. Plus info on the Nora app, the official emergency call app of the federal states.

Status: 17.11.2021 | Archive

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Emergency calls made via the nora app

With the official emergency call app of the federal states, the so-called nora app, you can reach the police, fire department and rescue service, even if you can’t speak in the current situation. This is a great alternative, especially for people with limited speech and hearing abilities. After a one-time registration, the app can use your mobile device’s location feature to transmit its location to the appropriate incident command center. Learn more plus links into the appropriate app stores on the nora app’s official site.

Cell phone location for emergency calls- here’s how it works

73 percent of emergency calls in the EU were made via a cell phone in 2018, according to the European Commission. Often, callers in an emergency or accident situation don’t know exactly where they are located. And a lot of time passes before rescuers find the accident victim. The "Automatic Mobile Location", called AML for short, will change that: It will cause a cell phone to find a star when dialing the emergency number "112" – and only then – automatically send their own location to the rescue control center. Even if you have deactivated or switched off the location services, WLAN and GPS of your smartphone. Radio cell information is also used by the new technology to narrow down the location of the caller.

Other European countries have been using this type of location for an emergency call for several years now. In Germany, the launch has been delayed for several reasons. In Bavaria, the Bavarian Red Cross had successfully tested AML since 2017. Since October 2019, the integrated control center Freiburg, the professional fire department Berlin together with the mobile providers Telekom, Telefonica and Vodafone now realize the location technology nationwide together with Google and Apple.

AML – which phones can do the automatic tracking

"Any reasonably current smartphone with either the Android operating system, version 4 or higher.0 or iOS from version 13.3 supports AML. Smartphones that do not have either of the two operating systems are currently also not AML-enabled. This also applies to old smartphones."

Florian Dax, Specialist Integrated Control Center Department Rescue Service, Bavarian Red Cross

Important: AML is not an app, so you don’t need to do anything else to activate it. For this to work, your Android phone must have "Google Play Services" installed will be pre-installed. The data broadcast is always free of charge for the person sending the emergency call.

Send location on emergency call – data protection

The location data is only sent if the emergency number "112" is actually dialed is chosen. 60 minutes after the emergency call, the location data is deleted in the control centers. A working group of the data protection conference has reviewed the concept. In addition, callers’ phone numbers are "hashed", That is, "Before generating the hash, the phone number is concatenated with random sequences. A conclusion from the stored hash to the phone number of a record is not possible at any time", according to the Integrated Control Center Freiburg.

Location information by AML not yet available at all control centers

The new service is operated for Germany by the Integrated Control Center Freiburg-Breisgau Hochschwarzwald in cooperation with the Berlin Fire Department. Currently, one third of the approximately 250 control centers in Germany receive the location data. The other services are to follow in the coming months.

From which Android and iOS version does the emergency locating function work??

The AML service is integrated from Android version 4 and on Apple devices the location sharing works since iOS version 13.3.

AML: Advantages of cell phone location for emergency calls

The advantages of AML technology, like those of the nora app, are obvious: if the emergency caller is not familiar with the location, is seriously injured or cannot communicate well, rescuers still know exactly where he is thanks to AML and can help him quickly.

Send location to friends via WhatsApp

If you want to show a friend exactly where you are, you can send your location via the messenger service WhatsApp. On phones with Android operating system it works like this: open the chat with the friend you want to send the location to. Tap the paper clip in the lower right corner. Select "Location from. After a few seconds, your position will be displayed on a map – you can send it directly. If you are a "live site you still have to choose a time period and the receiver can track your movements.

For devices with iOS operating system: open the chat with the friend you want to share your location with. Tap on the" at the bottom left+" and select "Location. Now there are the options "Send current location" and "Share live location" (you can choose between 15 minutes, 1 hour or 8 hours. The recipient of the live location can track your route).

Send location as iMessage

With Apple smartphones, there is also the option of sharing your location via iMessage. To do so, search for the appropriate contact in the news, click on the info "i" at the top below the name and "Share Location tap. select period, done.

Also of interest: you should never call these numbers back – here’s how to spot a ping call.

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