Tuesday, 5 November 2019

Questions (854)

Peter Burke


854. Deputy Peter Burke asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment if an issue with an Eircode (details supplied) will be resolved; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [44654/19]

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Written answers (Question to Communications)

Eircodes are assigned to new property addresses using a valid postal address and verified geographical locations provided by authoritative sources. These sources are An Post, who collect information on new and existing properties, as well as changes to existing addresses and Ordnance Survey Ireland (OSI) who provide the geographical locations for all these properties. The National Ambulance Service (NAS) integrated Eircodes into its computer-aided dispatch (CAD) system in February 2016. NAS use a state-of-the-art CAD system that utilises only the latest version of Ordnance Survey Ireland (OSI) digital maps for call taking and ambulance dispatch and not Google maps. Callers to the NAS give the patients address and Eircode. The advanced mobile locator automatically positions the patient’s property and the nearest available ambulance on the NAS call takers OSI digital map. The patient’s geographical location along with the Eircode is then sent to the mobile data terminal (MDT) in the ambulance, which allows the ambulance crew navigate to the scene using OSI digital maps so as to arrive at the correct location facilitating speedier access to care.

Ambulance emergency requests often come from isolated locations. The use of Eircodes assists in the rapid identification of often non-unique, rural addresses. The NAS considers the Eircode information to be very important in responding to emergency calls for such addresses.