The Times 

Walla Walla emergency dispatch adopts what3words to help 9-1-1 callers pinpoint their location


March 31, 2022

WALLA WALLA-Anyone familiar with trying to get an uber to find the exact location for pick-up, knows that some locations are harder than others to find. You may have the right address but on the opposite side of the building. Or you are on a road where there are no visible addresses. Frustrating when arranging a ride, dangerous in times of emergencies.

Walla Walla Emergency Services Communications (WESCOM) has partnered with a global address system called what3words, which helps users pinpoint their location anywhere in the world. In an emergency, the system enables people to quickly report their location to dispatchers, who can direct responders to exactly where needed.

what3words is an easy way to refer to a specific place. Every 10-foot square on the globe has been assigned a unique combination of three words, forming a what3words address. For example, vote.dreams.awards will take you to the Pioneer Park Bandstand, and the entrance of the Walla Walla Senior Center is identified with the three words gather.guess.gets.

When an emergency occurs in a location that's unknown or difficult to describe, 9-1-1 callers can give dispatchers their what3words address from the what3words app, which is available for iOS and Android. People who do not have the app installed will be sent a link by a dispatcher to the mobile version of the site at They can then open the app in a mobile browser and read the three words on their screen.

To help local first responders find you more easily in an emergency, WESCOM is encouraging Valley residents to download the what3words app. The app works offline, making it especially useful in remote areas that might have a poor internet connection. All the app requires to display your what3words address is a GPS signal.

The service also can be accessed manually on an online map. Check it out and find your what3words address at

The Times found its three-word address by using the app on an iPhone. The what3words app claims the three words are assigned by a mathematical algorithm in local languages. Languages can be selected by the user. Our address at the newspaper office is bonkers.cone.photographs. Bonkers?


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