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BT to take over running of 999 emergency calls

The 999/112 emergency telephone service is to be run by a British firm.

Eircom is set to lose the contract worth more than €10m a year at the end of this month.

UK giant BT is taking over the emergency calls service after winning the contract last year through a public tendering process.

The former state telecommunications firm, which is saddled with €4bn in debt and has reduced its headcount by 1,500 since March of last year, confirmed yesterday that the service will be fully transferred to BT by the end of this month.

"BT has been running the service since August but Eircom staff will no longer be providing back-up as of Friday, October 30," a spokesman said.

He added that operators providing back-up will be reassigned within the company's operator services.

BT is recruiting between 80 and 100 staff in Ballyshannon, Navan and Dublin to man the service which they will provide for the next five years.

It is understood a number of changes will be made to the service including new technology which will help locate people when they don't know exactly where they are.

BT's partner to provide the service is call-answering firm Conduit.

Irish Independent