Skip to content Skip to main navigation

News

Fly direct from
Canberra to New Zealand

No call triangulation for emergency services?

By johnboy - 1 February 2011 12

The ABC has a tragic piece on the dying minutes of Cameron Anderson who twice called for an ambulance but was unable to speak, and so they were unable to help him.

Today the court heard a triple-0 call that Mr Anderson made, in which he was unable to speak and was struggling to breathe.

Emergency services phone staff only had the man’s Queanbeyan address and could not send an ambulance to his location.

It is bad enough that emergency services can’t locate mobile phone calls, but will they now start working on it?

What’s Your opinion?


Please login to post your comments, or connect with
12 Responses to
No call triangulation for emergency services?
Filter
Showing only Website comments
Order
Newest to Oldest
Oldest to Newst
Davo111 11:50 am 01 Mar 11

jodizzle said :

It’s not a failure of emergency services to act, it’s a matter of no accurate technology being available.

Im going to disagree with you on this one, all of the carriers will have it, whether of not they use the data is a different story. Accuracy questionable, but so is hand held gps…. something can easily affect a signal. They require signal strength data to allow you to use your phone while driving, so it is being possible.

To explain it to people who dont get how mobile triangulation works. The mobile uses “signal strength” between 2 towers to work out your distance. See diagram below: ( http://www.prlog.org/10149430-hinton-locator-uses-network-data-for-location-via-triangulation.jpg ) With only 2 towers, there are two possible locations (where the two circles bisect). A 3rd tower (if possible/available narrows it down)

If your signal is obstructed, then yes, the error goes up. But it doesnt stop police from just doing a quick run-around the area to see if you’re in need of assistance.

JustThinking 5:19 pm 02 Feb 11

There have been other cases throughout Australia where 000 has been called from a mobile (where people could talk) and no assistance has been sent.
Seems the old “prank calls” from home phones (which now are easily traced) have moved with the times and are made from cheap, prepaid mobiles.

I rang 000 from my mobile to report ‘something’ and had to give my full name, address, home phone number and licence number etc before they would even pass me on to the police.
It seems 000 is a number often pressed by children, dialled by your pocket when you sit down or just plainly prank called so often that they have no idea which calls to respond to and which ones to ignore.

It is so sad..

screaming banshee 9:53 am 02 Feb 11

fabforty said :

I always thought that in a “life threatening emergency” such as this, Police Comms could use triangulation to locate a mobile as long as it wasn’t switched off.

That reminds me, new episodes of NCIS this week aren’t they?

Erg0 9:30 am 02 Feb 11

cleo said :

Well they could have called the police and traced the mobil, that’s how they catch a murderer!

…on CSI.

justsomeaussie 9:26 am 02 Feb 11

Ever noticed how your phone bill knows what suburb you are in?
That’s a part of cell tower triangulation system. You phone knows what cell it’s on(on a cell tower and uses that for the bill) and how far from that tower it is. To conserve power your mobile only transmits as much power as it needs to, to reach the nearest tower, this information is recorded by the provider and the phone.

It’s not 100% accurate, but lets say in this instance the person merely park “i’m in a park”, it would considerably lower the amount of area needed.

To c

p1 9:22 am 02 Feb 11

When I use the mapping software on my phone it is pretty damn accurate at knowing where it is. Phone doesn’t have a GPS, and in the city it usually has a circle about 30m diameter (often with me located dead centre. Sometime when I am in the countryside the circle is much bigger ~1km, but only once do I remember it being totally wrong.

This is why, when I am not using it, I switch of my phone and wrap tinfoil around my head.

cleo 2:58 am 02 Feb 11

Well they could have called the police and traced the mobil, that’s how they catch a murderer!

jodizzle 1:53 am 02 Feb 11

It’s not a failure of emergency services to act, it’s a matter of no accurate technology being available. Most mobile carriers do not offer triangulation services, and of the two that I am aware of that do (Optus and Vodafone) the actual results are hugely imprecise – as in, a ping that could be anywhere in a 10km radius. And only work if the phone is turned on and actually used! How the hell would you go finding one sole mobile phone in a 10km radius of anywhere, whether its somewhere out at Stromlo or in the middle of bustling suburbia in any sort of timely manner? It’s the proverbial needle in a haystack.

Mobile phone carriers need to be working on the services they provide, it’s not under the control of emergency services. It’s hugely sh*t for Mr Anderson, and others in desperate scenarios, but there’s only so much police/firies/ambos can do. Realistic expectations people…

Dave F 11:28 pm 01 Feb 11

> will they now start working on it?

Actually, it is finally about to happen…

http://www.zdnet.com.au/carriers-provide-mobile-locations-to-000-339308839.htm

grunge_hippy 9:09 pm 01 Feb 11

you fail to mention that she also made a 000 call saying that she didn’t mean to hurt him but he attacked her. (according to WIN news tonight)

I reckon she will get off. after all, we are in the ACT.

justsomeaussie 8:22 pm 01 Feb 11

The stupid thing is that that information is automatically obtained by the network provider. Any time you have your phone on, your phone constantly talks to any near towers and works out which one is nearer giving you a triangulation (iphone users will know this when inside on their maps program). Sad that people have to die over organisations being too slow to move with technology.

fabforty 6:51 pm 01 Feb 11

I always thought that in a “life threatening emergency” such as this, Police Comms could use triangulation to locate a mobile as long as it wasn’t switched off.

Related Articles

CBR Tweets

Sign up to our newsletter

Top
Copyright © 2018 Riot ACT Holdings Pty Ltd. All rights reserved.
www.the-riotact.com | www.b2bmagazine.com.au | www.thisiscanberra.com

Search across the site