We have been made aware of yet another case of Eircode misrouting where an ambulance was delayed as a result. For this reason, we have added a new "Point 5" to our list for checking an Eircode here -/>
On the afternoon of the 3rd November last, we received a call from a lady who had called an ambulance for her father a few days earlier but the ambulance was delayed as a result of Eircode misrouting. She made contact with us to confirm she could use a Loc8 Code when calling for an ambulance in the future.
In this case, Google Maps had been corrected to include a short private driveway;- so if she had done our check and had not read our NewsBlog articles she would have assumed misrouting could not take place. However, there was another road running along a different side of her house from which there was no driveway but it was closer. CoPilot, which the ambulance service uses, did not have the corrected driveway to the house, so the ambulance ended up on the closer road from which there was no access to their patient and no visibility to or from the house. This caused a delay until all realised that there had been a misrouting error.
For that reason, our new Point 5. states as follows: "5. If there is a road shown on Google Maps between your road access & your house, this road may not be on other mapping systems such as "CoPilot" which the ambulance service uses. If there is another road on the maps closer to your house than your own road access then, misrouting could occur and, therefore, you should also create & use a Loc8 Code to be safe. As different emergency responders and other service providers use different Navigation systems with different map suppliers, it is not possible to check them all. For that reason, best to be safe & use a Loc8 Code."
In addition, because the actual access to this property from the road is very narrow and bordered on 2 sides by other houses, even with a Loc8 Code generated just inside the access point, there could still be doubt. For that reason we would recommend Confirmation Signage at the gate which would say "Access to Eircode &/or Loc8 Code xxxxxxxxx" This would remove any possibility of doubt amongst the paramedics navigating the ambulance. Confirmatory signage like this is very useful in navigation and is highly recommended where there might be any doubt. The responsibility for this kind of confirmation is on the property owner;- not the paramedics or other service providers trying to find them.
It is extremely regrettable that those behind Eircode are not even warning the public about the possibility of errors or misrouting;- let alone advising how to check and resolve issues before they happen and cause risk to public safety.
If you need any clarifications on any of this, please contact us here -/>
#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)