Where are we?
Three words could save your life
If you live in a market town you soon get used to driving to and from. To this town or that town, or from this town or that town. The bits in between tend to become a blur, and if you live in Lincolnshire or Norfolk you soon realise that one cabbage field looks much like another, and they really are that big and stretch to the horizon.
So just before Christmas last year, when we with several other drivers were the witnesses to a road traffic accident the question on everybody’s lips was, where are we? Of course, we all knew where we were approximately, we were either on our way to or from. But emergency services wanted something more specific. They needed to send police, fire and ambulances.
They also had to contend with multiple requests. Because one HGV had gone into the back of another HGV and then crossed into the oncoming traffic, three vehicles were now spread across the road which was blocked in both directions.
People from each side of the accident were phoning them with different interpretations. There was obviously no co-ordination.
The emergency services did the logical thing and sent crews from each direction. As it happened the crews arrived from each direction more or less together and it was impressive watching them sort things out.
I could not help thinking about the role of technology in all of this. Yes it was great that nearly everybody had a mobile phone and that most of us could get signals. But I could not help thinking that even the professional drivers did not really know where they were. They by and large were just following orders, from this delivery /collection point to that one. Not helped by the fact that it was only 10 days to Christmas so lots of drivers were not on roads they knew.
I doubt whether many people have a roadmap in the car these days.
However, if technology was part of the problem I wondered if it might be part of the solution.
As many of you will remember back in November 2016 I had fallen out of tree and broken my elbow. There were no worries about where I was, I was no more than 30 feet from the A52. A&E was only seven minutes away. But it took two hours for an ambulance to arrive.
Knowing handlers have had heart attacks at shows it is something that I do occasionally think about.
I guess if you are in the barn at Rugby, or the equestrian centre at Newark the emergency services will find you fairly quickly?
But what about the Newark Show Ground? Seriously what about the Newark Show Ground when there are 3 other dog shows going on? Or even the KC building at Stoneleigh?
After all you do not usually get to choose where you have your heart attack.
The good news is that technology does have a solution and it is called what3words.
The even better news is that it is a free app so none of you have any excuse for not using it. There is also no excuse for clubs not to use and promote what3words.
Okay we all know it won’t happen to us… but it might save our mates life.