Home How Emergency Location Works?
How Emergency Location Works?

How St. Bernard emergency location works

The service user is given a location device which incorporates both a GPS receiver (like the SatNavs in cars) to determine their position and a mobile phone for data communication and to allow voice calls were appropriate. 

There are a number of different location devices which can be chosen to meet the needs and capability of the service user.   They range from small passive devices which need no user involvement to Smart Phones which have many other functions.


The location device connects every few minutes with our location servers via the mobile phone network using GPRS data communication.  As well as its position, the location device will send information such as its speed, the level of battery charge and the strengths of the GPS and mobile phone signals.

This regular contact approach is safer than other systems which store the location data and alert logic in the location device, since the device location at the last regular contact will always be available in the server in the event of the device going out of coverage of the mobile network.(If the device is to be used in a poor signal area a UK roaming SIM is available which will connect to the network with the strongest signal in the area.)

Signals from a panic button or, with some devices, a fall detector are sent to the server as soon as they are triggered.

Location Servers

The automated servers are a secure duplicated system held in geographically separate locations with dedicated connections to the mobile network and the internet.
The location servers perform a number of functions:

  • They take the location information from the device which at this stage is just latitude and longitude and translate that into street addresses and postcodes. As the location device measures very faint radio signals from the navigation satellites to calculate its position and reception of these signals may be poor indoors or near tall buildings, it may not always be able to determine its location.  In this case the servers will report the last known position and how many minutes ago the position was determined.
  • They can display this location as maps on a web site.   These maps can be overlaid by aerial photographs to help guide rescuers.  A simplified map can be displayed on a web enabled mobile phone.
  • They allow the operator to set alert criteria such as geofences (safe or risky areas),  low battery, etc and to determine who should receive the alert and how.  The alerts can be sent by text message or e-mail or linked to a telecare or warden call system using the LocaLink™ Remote Trigger.
  • They compare the device data against alert criteria, and send alerts when the conditions are met. 
  • They collate and store data from the devices and can produce reports covering the performance of the device.  These can be used to help manage the service, for instance by looking at a graph of battery charge it is possible to determine whether the device is being charged regularly.
  • They provide a platform to program and update the location devices remotely.
  • They manage the structure and administration of the service so that an organisation can split its operations into different departments and create secure groups of devices and users to maintain privacy.