New system will locate callers in an emergency
A new system for alerting emergency services to the precise location of assault victims and incapacitated callers is to go live in the coming weeks.
Ireland will be among the first countries in Europe to activate the Advanced Mobile Location (AML) on android phones.
It works by automatically finding a phone's GPS co-ordinates and sending a text message to the call centre after a person rings 112/999.
Currently when an injured caller is unable to give a location the emergency services have to rely on the nearest phone mast, which could be up to 15km away.
Emergency call centres receive an average of 4,000 mobile phone calls a day.
Communications Minister Denis Naughten, whose department is working on the introduction of AML, told the Irish Independent: "Precise device-based location will be of vital assistance to the emergency services in responding to and dispatching emergency personnel to callers in need across Ireland, but particularly in rural areas.
"It will save time and potentially save lives. People of all ages in need of several types of emergency assistance will be helped by this technology."
Experts have identified a number of scenarios where they expect AML to come into play:
Victims of assault or medical emergencies are unable to speak or provide location information;
Suicidal caller who does not provide a location;
Children or adults with intellectual disabilities that may be unable to provide exact location of need;
Visitors/tourists to locations who may not know precise location of emergency;
Car accident on a rural road with no signage;
Domestic violence caller too fearful to speak.