SMS Locator: how it works

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How SMS Locator works in the city

Il servizio SMS Locator is a localization tool used throughout the city by the national rescue services, recently especially by the National Alpine and Speleological Rescue Corps (CNSAS), or a public utility service that supports the National Civil Protection Service.


At this point, it is necessary to make a necessary premise: the intervention of the men and means of the CNSAS (as well as the Alpine Rescue of the Corps of the Guardia di Finanza, of the SAR Rescue Teams of Army Alpine Troop Command or of the SAF Specialists of National Body of Fire) frequently predicts the balance of a ticket, which can be quite high if it were to include, for example, the intervention of a helicopter. So be aware that the intervention of these means often also involves this type of economic implications.


It must be specified that the spread of SMS Locator in our country took place for a particular reason. There is a technology already inserted in most of the smartphones in circulation (called Emergency Location Service for mobile phones Android e Advanced Mobile Location for devices iOS / iPadOS) which, at the time of the reply of the Single Emergency Number 112 (NUE), automatically sends the GPS coordinates of your position to the rescue: at the moment, however, this technology is still being implemented in the city, according to the most recent directives of the European Community.

For this reason, SMS Locator currently provides for the need through its "two-step verification”, Starting with the call for help and ending with the sending of your own to the control unit latitude, longitude e height thanks to the localization message: simply pressing the button of a link guarantees, in fact, to start the recovery phase in the most effective and rapid way possible.



All clear? Very well, now follow me carefully because I will show you in detail the steps to understand how to manage this type of emergency service.

Unique Emergency Number 112

The Single Emergency Number 112 (a-a-the two) is the telephone number valid in all Member States of theXNUMX-XNUMX business days to call the emergency services, also known by the acronym NUDE 112, contactable by all landline phones e cellular.

If you were to call from a country with an emergency number other than 112, the call it will come automatically redirected to the local switchboard; this is a considerable advantage for any traveler, who is in fact exempted from having to know by heart the numbers of each country he passes through. The abuse of the number 112, as well as of any other number for emergencies in the rest of the world, is punishable by law: this is always good to underline.

As you may already know, the spread of cellular networks is active above all in urban areas, where instead mountainous or uninhabited areas may present a weak or completely absent signal. However, when calling 112, the call will rely on if there is a signal first available operator of the area, regardless of the coverage of your telephone operator: clearly, this does not exempt you from being careful to venture into areas completely uncovered by the mobile network.

Keep in mind that the factors that usually can't make a call (insufficient residual credit, Unknown PIN or unlock pattern, SIM card not inserted) in this situation do not constitute an impediment, at least in most cases: it is however advisable to know the exact procedure for making an emergency call with a smartphone with a screen lock activated, depending on the type of device you are using.



If you have a cell phone Android, for example, you have to proceed like this: press the power button, to reactivate the screen; if necessary, swipe up with one finger to get to the lock screen, then tap on the item Emergency call placed in the lower part. Then enter the number 112 and finally, press on green button in the shape of a telephone at the end of the display.

In case someone else needs to help you and need to make the call, know that you can customize your lock screen with information that could help rescuers (for example your blood type, any allergies or contraindications to drug therapies): I suggest you read the guidelines issued by Google.

If you use a iPhone, press the button Power, to reactivate the display. From the code entry screen, press on the wording Emergency call and then enter the number 112, then tap the green button in the shape of a telephone. Newer iPhone models also include the ability to configure a call mode Emergency SOS, which allows you to add contacts to be notified automatically via SMS at the end of an emergency call, call for help using the side key and customize your own Medical records through the app Health. You can learn more about the topic on the official dedicated page on the Apple website.

Once the call is initiated, it is necessary to follow the instructions given by the operator, answering precisely the questions that are asked. Usually one will answer you first First Level Central, which is used to filter requests for information, jokes or accidental calls; only in a second step your call will be forwarded to Second Level Central, which takes care of effectively managing the real requests for help.



SMS Locator

SMS Locator in practice it constitutes a second step that the user must perform manually, by virtue of the regulations in force on the protection of the privacy, to authorize the display of your position. The requirement of this technology, as mentioned in the previous chapter, is to necessarily rely on one telephone network and to one data network: If the signal is strong, rescuers will be able to locate you with even less than 100 meters, while if the distance between the telephone repeaters becomes very large, a radius of 100 kilometers or more.

During the phone call, the switchboard switches the call to the most suitable rescue service (for example, mountain rescue), which will in turn send you a SMS in which it will be specified that they are looking for you, as well as a link and an invitation to its opening. Once you have open the message e held down the aforementioned link, if the connection allows it, your device will activate thesending GPS coordinates (latitude, longitude e altitude), in order to allow those in charge to identify yours position and then proceed with recovery.

App dedicated to the First Aid

The privacy protection system on which SMS Locator is based, however, can represent a limit, in case you are seriously injured or unable to use your smartphone. For this reason, there are apps recognized by the authorities which can, for example, trace the entire route taken (therefore not starting the geolocation only during an emergency) or even automatically send the satellite coordinates at the beginning of the call. Now we will examine them together, so you can find the one that suits you best: installing them before embarking on a trip could certainly guarantee you greater safety.

112 Where Are U (Android/iOS/iPadOS)

Where Are U is an app that allows you to call the Single Emergency Number 112, automatically attaching your position and other useful information to facilitate rescuers. It is available for free on both Android and iOS / iPadOS.

To download Where Are U on your device Android, april il Play Store (the ▶ ︎ symbol colored), search Where Are U in the latter and first press onicona dell'applicazione, in the search results, and then on the button Install. If you are reading this tutorial directly from your smartphone, you can open the Where Are U tab on the Play Store using the link I gave you earlier.

I invented, I used a iPhone or iPad, apr l 'App Store (the blue icon with the "A" in the center, located on the home screen), tap on the tab Search (bottom right), search Where Are U and press first onicona dell'applicazione, in the search results, and then on the button Ottieni / Installa: verify, if requested, your identity through Face ID, touch ID or password ofApple ID. If you are reading this tutorial directly from your device, you can open the Where Are U tab on the App Store using the link I gave you earlier.

Once the installation is complete, launch the app. First, click on the button Subscribe in its main screen, then then tap Allow (if necessary), to authorize the app to access your location, USB storage and Phone, then enter yours cellphone number, put the tick next to the wording I accept the conditions of use, Privacy Policy and press the button below NEXT. You will be prompted to confirm the phone number entered: if it is correct, tap on Confirmation, otherwise on Edit. At this point you will be asked to enter your data (Your name, Last name, Gender, Date of birth, Country, Optional photo) and confirm them by pressing on check located at the top right.

You will have access to a screen that will allow you to enter yours ICE numbers (In Case of Emergency), i.e. the contacts you wish to make visible to the 112 operator together with your position in case of need: you can do this by pressing on the+ icon located at the top right, Choosing from Import from contacts o Enter manually. When you are done, press on arrow located at the top right, to access the main screen: here you will see yours position in real time (whose details and coordinates can be viewed by pressing on the header at the top), indicated on a full-screen map, and three buttons.

By pressing thecentral icon you will call the emergency number, then you will be prompted to select manually the service you need, and then send your position automatically. Self you can not talk, touch theleft icon and then select the type of emergency to be communicated to the 112 operator.right iconinstead, in addition to activating the emergency call, you will communicate your will to open a chat with the operations center. You can change your preferences, ICE numbers and make a DEMO call from Settings, pressing thegear icon located at the top right.

FlagMii (Android/iOS/iPadOS)

FlagMii is a free app that allows you to call 112 and connected services with a single button, automatically sending the i GPS data in order to locate the user. It intelligently detects the geographic location, interacting with the software of the rescuers and interfacing with the emergency numbers all over the world; it also has the ability to receive in real time notices issued by public bodies, in order to inform and protect citizenship. The download is available on both Android and iOS / iPadOS.

Once the installation is complete, start the app. Then scroll through the presentation screens until you get to the last one on the right, then put the two ticks on the items I am over 14 years old e I agree to the Terms and Conditions, finally press the button below Continue. Enter yours telephone number in the empty field, then click on NEXT, finally check that you have entered it correctly by tapping on Ok (or your Cancel if you want to change it). At this point, FlagMii will send a verification SMS with a activation code of 4 digits; as soon as it arrives, enter it in the appropriate field and then press on Ok.

Now that you have access to the main menu of the app, press the ☰ button, at the top left, to see the sections it consists of: Emergency, which shows the four main numbers here in the city (118 Sanitary emergency, 112 Emergency, 113 Police and 115 Fire fighters); Notifications, customizable by tapping the button at the top right; Information channels, divided by Municipality; Useful numbers, divided by type of emergency (for example regional toll-free numbers) and finally Location, which returns the current position with relative coordinates and precision in meters. You can press the button Share located at the top right, to share the aforementioned position with other apps.

GeoResQ (Android / iOS / iPadOS)

GeoResQ is an app that provides a paid service of geolocation and forwarding of rescue requests, dedicated to those who often travel in the mountains and in the open air. It is managed by the National Alpine and Speleological Rescue Corps (CNSAS) and promoted by the City Alpine Club (CAI); allows you to identify your position in real time, tracing and archiving the entire route of your excursions, as well as the possibility of forwarding requests for help in cases of emergency. The service is offered by subscription with annual renewal (also automatic) equal to € 20 + VAT (24,40 €), while for i soci del CAI è free. It can be downloaded on both Android and iOS / iPadOS.

When installation is complete, start the app and, after pressing on Allow (to allow access to the location of the device), tap on Continue, to accept the user agreement. Then enter your email address in the field Activation and press the arrow located at the bottom right. Once this is done, click on Yes if the email address is right or on No, it changes, if you want to change it.

Then continue by entering yours cellphone number and confirming with the arrow located at the bottom right, press on Yes if correct or on No, it changes if you want to change it, then choose yours Password, confirming with the green tick placed at the bottom and then up Continue. Enter your personal data (Your name, Last name, Tax code) and confirm again by pressing green tick located at the bottom right.

If you are not registered with the CAI, the app will ask you if you intend to continue anyway, by clicking on Continue, or whether to check your data by clicking on Check Data. You will then have to confirm your new account by clicking on link sent via SMS. Once done, one will open in your browser login screen in which you will have to authenticate for the first time by entering your email or mobile number, your password and then press the red button Log in to the portal.

You will have activated your account and you can go back to the new app screen: in home you will see yours marked Current position Height and your settings coordinates.

If you press the ☰ button, at the top left, you will have access to main settings (respectively divided into Test Alarm, follow me, Data Transmission Frequency) and at Advanced settings (GPS Elevation Correction, Registration Data e App reactivation). More information about its features can be checked directly on the official website of the application.

Probably, after reading this tutorial, you will have realized better how the SMS Locator service works, the management of emergency calls and the related first aid apps: if you are interested in learning more about the topic, I would like to point out the possibility of being able to share your location with other apps as well. If you want to know more, I therefore suggest you read my tutorials regarding the apps to know where a person is, how to send the position on Whatsapp, how to send your position with Google Maps and how to put the position on Facebook.

If, on the other hand, you are convinced that having a mobile phone in your pocket on holiday is not enough, no problem! Know that there are valid satellite devices on the market with various price ranges, able to transmit your position, SMS and email: try reading my buying guide on the best GPS trackers.

SMS Locator: how it works


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