Smartphones have become an integral part of our daily lives and have offered us great benefits that were once deemed as an impossibility. The concept has taken a mobile phone from being merely a device for making calls and sending text messages to gadgets which serve as nimble handheld cameras, portable TV screens and on-the-go internet browsers — to name just a few of their features.

Although our smartphones have delivered many benefits to our personal activities, they have also been a great help to those working for our emergency services. Join TORRO Cases, suppliers of stylish and practical genuine leather phone cases and iPhone 6 cases to Cleveland Fire Brigade, as they explain a few reasons why…

Biometrics

Those in the police force may sometimes find it difficult to identify a person — but the flexibility of smartphones has changed this. This is because officers who wanted to clarify someone’s identity were required to take that person into police custody, where they can then take fingerprints.

What once would take hours to complete, can now be done within minutes on a smartphone. It can also be completed on the street as opposed to taking an individual to a police station.

Essentially, police officers will take two scans of two fingertips and this can be cross-referenced with 12 million records found in their databases. Should a match be established, the police will be receive details of a person’s name, their date of birth and other information crucial to their identification.

The system has been trialed by West Yorkshire Police where 250 scanners were distributed to officer after its development by the Home Office in early 2017. Mr Poulton states that officers will only use the system when they are unable to identify someone by any other means, though the technology could also be applied to identify an individual who is unconscious, requiring medical treatment or deceased.

“Most of the people we deal with from a criminal point of view tend not to carry anything with them that would identify them” pointed out West Yorkshire Police chief inspector Ian Williams.

A free Samsung if you’re in the emergency services

An additional perk to those working in policing, firefighting and paramedics, Samsung smartphones might be given a across the UK as part of a £210 million deal with the tech-giant. This is because the South Korean technology firm signed a contract with the government in November 2017 which will grant them the opportunity to supply 250,000 handsets to establish a new emergency communications network for the country.

As a result, police officers can feed live video back to their headquarters, fire crews can download building blueprints ahead of tackling a blaze, paramedics can access patient records and all emergency service personnel can access the internet while on duty.

Not only that, but every Samsung smartphone will be specifically designed with a ‘push to talk’ feature which allows users to communicate directly to one another without dialing.

Emergency SOS feature on smartphones

However, the use of smartphones across the emergency services doesn’t stop there. What about instances when people need to get in touch with the emergency services themselves?

This is a safety feature that allows users to call for help in a discreet manner — as well sharing your location. The Emergency SOS feature can be activated on iPhone devices with the iOS 11 software update by following these steps:

  • Go to the Settings app on your smartphone and select Emergency SOS.
  • Enable Auto Call.
  • Switch on Also Works with 5 Clicks if given the prompt.
  • Select Set Up Emergency Contacts in Health and state who you want your location sent to.

After following the above, users will be able to get in touch with the emergency services through 112 and send out their whereabouts. Then, Touch ID can be deactivated by pressing the power button five times when the device is locked. For iPhone 8 users, these features can be accessed by holding down the power button and one of the volume buttons at the same time.

It might be worth knowing that on Samsung Galaxy’s, the equivalent to the Emergency SOS feature can be activated by:

  • Going to the Settings app on your smartphone and selecting Privacy and Security.
  • Selecting Send SOS Messages and ensuring it’s toggled to ON.
  • Switching on both Attach pictures and Attach audio recording.

When it has been activated, you must press the power button three times to send a text or voice message to emergency contacts while sending a photo directly from your phones camera.