Eircode mis-routing has been identified as an issue since the code was 1st launched in 2014. However, the number of reports of this happening in recent months is becoming alarming. The cause of mis-routing is explained in the post here Essentially Eircode has no link or relationship with the road from which access to the property is gained and the relationship is required for a navigation system (all including Google maps) to provide accurate routing to the address.
Some mis-routing reports are related to an ambulance being sent in the wrong direction and to the wrong road and, in all cases where mis-routing has been identified, the potential for an ambulance to be delayed arriving to assist patients is a real possibility.
In emergency response, every delay is potentially life threatening. Some other reports of ambulances being mis-routed are shown here
Minister Richard Bruton TD was advised of this problem in writing during 2019 and was also asked on several occasions to amend the Eircode ambulance advert to ensure the public are advised to check their code before they have to rely on it in an emergency. Unfortunately, to date the Minister has chosen not to act.
Mis-routing is also an issue for couriers & other deliveries and if your courier is saying that you cannot be found, then mis-routing could be the cause.
Everyone should check their code and do it for those who can't by following the guide here
There is no systematic process for checking Eircodes either when they are allocated to a building by computer or after they have been delivered in the door by a postman/woman. The tweet in the above image is one of many reports that verify this.
If you do not check your Eircode (and do it for those that cant) nobody will and, if not used for other purposes then, it could mis-route an ambulance the very first time it is used. There are several examples of Eircode mis-routing shown below.
Check your code now here
THE FOLLOWING TERMS & CONDITIONS APPLY TO EIRCODES FOR AMBULANCES:
"There are many reasons why you may have received the wrong Eircode or the one you have been given points to the wrong location,” Gary contended. “It could also misroute when used in navigation systems. No-one else has checked your code so you must, especially before you have to use it in an emergency,” he said.
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We are grateful to the people at Autoaddress, one of the Eircode contractors, for confirming on their website that Eircode can send a user, including an ambulance, "hundreds of metres away from the right location".
This a phenomenon long understood by professionals in the area of road navigation. It is caused by the fact that the detail of entrances from roads to properties is often not available or up-to-date. Furthermore, there may be several entrances to a property and, for that reason, navigation systems may not know which one is the correct one. Finally, private roads inside property boundaries may not be mapped.
The end result, is that navigation systems select the nearest point on the nearest mapped road to the Eircode building location as the destination. If the building is close to the road from which access is gained, then there is unlikely to be a problem. However, if your building is some distance from the road, or if there are multiple entrances with complicated access, then the navigation system may actually guide the user (including ambulances) to a location several hundred metres (over a kilometre in some cases) away from the correct access point.
This is not an issue that only happens when using Google Maps. It happens with all Navigation systems as the problem is a common one;- Eircode points to a building and not to an entrance. It can happen both in city and rural areas.
If this happens to your courier, the problem can be resolved with a phone call. However, if it happens during the night when an ambulance is trying to find a patient, this can be a major issue;- especially if the patient is alone and rendered unconscious.
Loc8 Code has been highlighting this issue since Eircode was rolled out in 2015. Personnel from Loc8 Code were invited to the CFR (Community First Responders) Ireland's "Respond" conference last year (2019) to explain this and other issues. In addition, those same personnel have also attended local CFR events to help with ensuring people have their Eircodes. In all cases, some members of the public and 1st responders have confirmed that mis-routing has happened to them.
This is, therefore, one of the most important reasons why people should "CHECK YOUR CODE", and do it also for those who may not be able to it for themselves. If mis-routing is the problem, then you can create a Loc8 Code yourself for a point just (2-3 metres) inside the entrance from the main road and use this when calling an ambulance. Generating a Loc8 Code is easy to do here or via the point8 app. Be sure to read the instructions we have provided on this website here before you do it and check it before you "DISPLAY YOUR CODE"
There are two other reasons why you should check your Eircode:
It can also take some months before a new property is allocated an Eircode and, because of strict An Post rules, some buildings will not get an Eircode at all. In both these cases, a Loc8 Code can also be used. A Loc8 Code can be applied to ANY location across the whole island of Ireland, North & South.
We have asked the Minister for Communications, Richard Bruton TD to adjust the Eircode Ambulance Public Service Announcement which is broadcast on RTE stations to include a note to the Public that they should "CHECK YOUR CODE". Hopefully, both he and his Officials in the Department of Communications will arrange this as a mater of urgency as it really should have been included from the start.
If you have instances, of any of these issues to tell us about please add them in a comment below.
Please "CHECK YOUR CODE" NOW and do it for those who cant.
#checkyourcode is an initiative of Loc8 Code Ltd
Having been adopted by Garmin in test in 2007 and formally in 2010, Loc8 Code has been successfully used for emergency planning by the HSE since 2011. It has been used also by Irish Water Safety for ringbuoys since around the same time, with Cork Co. Co, becoming the latest to employ the code for ringbuoy management, early last year.
In early 2017, the National Ambulance Service commenced preparation to fully integrate Loc8 Code into it's emergency response and ambulance navigation systems, and this became fully operational in late 2017. As a result, from Jan of 2018 the National Ambulance Service has been supporting both Eircode and Loc8 Code in its systems. Eircode is for postal addresses and Loc8 Code is for non-postal addresses and where an Eircode is not available or not functioning correctly.
Separately, Loc8 Code's experienced navigation personnel have been highlighting for several years that because Eircode was designed for postal address identification rather than navigation, it was likely that Eircode was going to cause mis-routing in a number of cases. Since Eircode was being promoted for emergency response, we considered it important that the Public would be made aware of this and also the fact that some Eircodes may point to the wrong location or that some people may have none at all. Even one delay when it comes to Public safety could be one too many, especially when such delays can be avoided by a few simple checks. It was for that reason, that Loc8 Code produced the "Eircode & Loc8 Code for Emergency Use Guide" in late 2017, having been communicating its content for several years previously.
Given the increasing dependency on Eircode for calling ambulances and recognition that in some cases it may have never been used, checked or proven before being used for that purpose, Loc8 Code conceived the idea of the #checkyourcode service during 2019. Furthermore, as there were increasing recommendations for the Public to "know" their code, something that can only be reliably achieved with frequent use, Loc8 Code wanted the #checkyourcode initiative to also educate people that if they are not regularly using their code, then it is unlikely that they will "know" or recall it in the heat of an emergency. So Saving & Displaying your Eircode or Loc8 Code is equally important. Similarly, if the person that "knows" the code is unconscious or unavailable and a visitor or babysitter has to call the emergency services, the sign on the Fridge, inside the main door or by the phone would be a very important assistance.
So we at Loc8 Code are now pleased to have taken the initiative to enhance Public Safety by getting the #checkyourcode and #displayyourcode messages out to the Irish Public.
The process of checking a code cannot be automated so it does need some effort. If you can, make some time to sit down and read the "How To" Guide carefully and then go through the process. It only needs to be done once. But please also do for those who can't.
We hope this service will help and that you will share it widely.
We also wish everyone the very best in these challenging times,
Check - Save - Display
(see below for examples as to why it is important to #checkyourcode)