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The introduction of Eircode has "saved lives", minister says

Communications Minister Denis Naughten says ambulances are now reaching houses quicker.

COMMUNICATIONS MINISTER DENIS Naughten says the introduction of Eircode has saved lives across the country.

Speaking in the Dáil yesterday, the independent TD said that since the National Ambulance Service introduced the address coding system, it has had a “significant impact”.

“In Co Roscommon we have a huge problem with townlands and ambulances going missing and getting delayed because they can’t get to them,” Naughten said.

“Now because the national ambulance service is linked in with Eircode, if you give your Eircode over the phone the ambulance can identify exactly your home.”

…It is saving lives today. It has saved lives over the last six months and I believe it will be a massive benefit to our health system.

Naughten said that since the introduction of the controversial €38 million system a year ago, there have been four million look-ups on the finder, with 19,000 daily hits on average.

eircode

“International experience shows it takes a number of years for postcodes to become widely used after their introduction,” he said.

Fianna Fáil communications spokesman, Timmy Dooley, said a recent study showed that only 5% of people know their own Eircode.

“That will be the greatest inhibitor to benefiting the ambulance in the long run,” Mr Dooley told the Dáil.

Because if someone comes on the scene of an accident and doesn’t know the postcode, that’s not going to be any assistance.

He said a hierarchical postcode structure, rather than the random system that was introduced, would have been of greater assistance to businesses, particularly in the delivery of parcels.

He pointed to the Logistics and Supply Chain Confident Index 2016 which showed 83% of businesses have received no net gain from Eircode and 96% have not incorporated it in their system.

Naughten said the Eircode system was one that would work long term.

“I think yes there has been a slow lead-in in relation to the intake, and there was always going to be a slow lead-in to it,” he said. “But I think it was significant that the ambulance service has brought it on board and that will save lives.”

…When PPS numbers were introduced a lot of people didn’t have a clue about them but a lot of people know their PPS number now because it’s so useful and I think the same will happen with Eircode.

Read: Poll: Do you use your Eircode?

Read: Ambulances are going to start using Eircodes, but it will cost them

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