Google Canada brings Emergency Location Services for your Android

Have you ever had to use your cellphone for 911?  Well, doing so from a cellphone is a little hard for the emergency services to really know where you are; whereas, now Google is putting Emergency Location Services now in your Android.

Google has today announced Emergency Location Service (ELS) is now available for all Android users in Canada.


More than 80% of emergency calls come from mobile phones and locating devices using traditional emergency technologies can often be a challenge with search areas too big to be useful. To address this issue, Google created ELS, a feature on Android phones designed to help emergency services locate you quickly, accurately, and securely. 


How it works

  • Android ELS activates only when 9-1-1 is dialed. No special hardware or apps are necessary for the caller or for public safety answering points and first responders.
  • It calculates a precise location on the caller’s device and securely and privately transmits the information to emergency services partners.
  • ELS uses a combination of location technologies already available to apps on your phone (e.g. Wi-Fi, GPS, and cell towers).
  • This provides a more reliable and accurate emergency location which can help reduce response times, and in some cases, be the difference between life and death.
  • The feature is solely for the use of emergency service providers and your precise location is never seen or handled by Google. 


ELS is now active in Canada, thanks to an initiative supported by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) Emergency Services Working Group (ESWG) and its designated partners Bell Canada, and TELUS Communications Inc. (TCI).


For more details on how Emergency Location Service works, read here.