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Thread: Map reference points (in case of emergencies)

  1. #1

    Map reference points (in case of emergencies)

    Please some advise:

    I am doing a H&S risk assessment for a site and want to mark a few way-points on the estate maps AND write down their map reference - what system is preferred by the emergency services (OS Map reference? Latitude/Longitude? Other?)

    A bad experience last year (Where a road ambulance couldn't find a 'viewpoint' on a named road marked on OS maps) makes me ask this question, and I do not seem to be able to get a sensible reply from those who should know.

    Thank you
    • Do not be seduced by the marketing-men....

  2. #2
    Definately go for the 6 figure GB grid reference The two letter prefix followed by the 6 figures. Lat-Long is fine if you have a GPS or using a sea chart but all OS maps use the GB grid ref.

  3. #3
    Pull the area up on google earth (google maps may work also).... Put the curser on the spot you want to mark, right click, and a little box will open with the grid coordinate.....

  4. #4
    We have had some challenges in this department recently where, if there is no postcode, it comes up as unknown. Believe it or not this also happened at a railway station in Fife, never mind the middle of nowhere. We always advocated the 6 figure grid reference on the basis that it might be a mountain rescue team that was called out but it may be a plan to get the postcodes of the nearest houses also. I fully appreciate that in rural areas one code can cover a chunk of ground. Get a Spot device? I'll be very interested how this thread develops.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by daven View Post
    Pull the area up on google earth (google maps may work also).... Put the curser on the spot you want to mark, right click, and a little box will open with the grid coordinate.....
    Thank you, but hat wasn't actually my question - I know how to get a grid reference.
    The question was what system do the emergency services use/prefer?
    • Do not be seduced by the marketing-men....

  6. #6
    Well things are not getting any clearer.

    I have now spoken to two Police officers.
    Answers 1: We use 'Eastings and Nordings' and can work out Longitude and Latitude from that. I do not know if the Ambulance and Fire service use the same or another system".
    Answer 2 (Same County force): "We use the Javalin system. I do not know if the other emergency services use that as well or something else"

    Obviously I just reported what they said, and you may well think that I feel that they are totally confused, but I couldn't possibly comment.

    However, on the positive side, I was offered a PCSO to go on the sites with me and 'log' the reference points, for future reference. So that is a positive step forward.

    And there was me thinking that the UK Police generally did their job unarmed...but a Javalin system? Whow!
    • Do not be seduced by the marketing-men....

  7. #7
    Erik, in your assessments which emergency service do you reckon will most likely be needed. I would be inclined to contact the control room of that service and ask what system they use. I know from personal experience that different services use different systems. In some rural areas in the absence of a post code the system will default to a grid reference for some branches of the emergency services, while others will default to latitude and longitude. Your best bet is to get the answer from the horses mouth of whichever service you think you will most likely need. Talk to the organ grinder, not the monkey...

  8. #8
    Erik the ambulance service are now working from the police control room in Gloucester and use the same system.
    How's your end of the gene pool today?

  9. #9
    Always use the GB grid reference (two letters and then eastings and northings) in an emergency plan.

    This is a good website for conversions or finding postcodes etc.

    UK Grid Reference Finder
    The more I learn about people, the more I like my dog.

  10. #10
    I have no idea wot sevice uses wot BUT i stuck a poster up on shoot wall with postcodes(between 2), grid ref and long/lat for hut plus 2 other spots on the shoot.
    I also wrote a brief description of wot roads shoot was on, name/number and where it goes for the non locals.
    Told them to take a photo of it on there fancy phones, dunno if anyone ever did? Fortunately never been needed (touch wood)

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