Last Week Tonight’s feature segment focused on antiquated 911 technology, particularly its inability to leverage mobile geolocation and effectively pinpoint a caller’s whereabouts from his or her cellphone.
“911 losing valuable time simply because dispatchers have trouble determining your location is not unusual,” says host John Oliver.
Fortunately, there’s an app for that.
Patronus (formerly Bluelight) is a free, consumer-focused 911 app (available on Android or Apple) that routes emergency calls to the closest dispatcher. Current features provide caller name and location (address and GPS latitude/longitude) and will immediately notify key personal contacts. Future features include date of birth, health conditions, emergency contacts, medications, real-time location and caller photograph.
According to Oliver, more than 240 million 911 calls are made each year, with up to 80 percent coming from wireless devices.
He cites a Federal Communications report that “location accuracy improvements … could save approximately 10,120 lives annually.”
Watch Oliver’s segment and download Patronus: