An organization representing emergency services in more than 80 countries worldwide has argued that apps can be a better way to report an emergency than making a call.

The European Emergency Number Association (EENA) made the suggestion as it announced that emergency apps designed for use in one European country will in future work across borders …

TNW reports that the Pan-European Mobile Emergency App (PEMEA) initiative has already got Spain and Italy on board, and plans to have over eight countries signed up by the end of next year.

EENA said that Apple’s support of Advanced Mobile Location was an important step, but it thinks that allowing people to use apps rather than make calls offers significant benefits.

I think apps are much more crucial than AML. Apps can deliver more data, while AML is just location. Also, AML will soon become a completely automatic function of emergency calls everywhere while apps will keep developing. They will be able to offer video calls, chatting, data concerning the user, and other added value services — that only apps can bring.

Video calls, for example, can allow emergency services to get a clearer picture of the location and nature of the incident from the first report.

EENA estimated earlier this year that Apple’s decision to support Advanced Mobile Location – which uses the iPhone’s GPS to automatically transmit a precise location during a 911/112 call – will save 7500 lives over the next 10 years.

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Ben Lovejoy

Ben Lovejoy is a British technology writer and EU Editor for 9to5Mac. He’s known for his op-eds and diary pieces, exploring his experience of Apple products over time, for a more rounded review. He also writes fiction, with two technothriller novels, a couple of SF shorts and a rom-com!

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