Cork and Kerry Ambulance’s using Eircode’s Mobile Data Terminals ahead of national roll-out.

Mobile Data Terminals are being used by the National Ambulance Service which will use Eircode to display a caller’s location for an ambulance.

The Mobile Data Terminals (MDT) units are installed in an ambulance and is similar to having the control room at the fingertips of the ambulance personnel using it.

How does it work?
The control room dispatch system is configured to use Eircode and when a member of the public dials 999 or 112, the Emergency Call Taker and Emergency Medical Dispatcher swiftly pinpoint the caller’s location, with the help of the Eircode. The details of the call, including the address, Eircode, and location of the caller is quickly sent from the control room to the in-ambulance MDT.

The ambulance crew acknowledge the call via the MDT and “go mobile”. The location, address and Eircode is displayed on a map on the MDT. The MDT helps the ambulance crew to get to the caller’s location as quickly as possible using MDT directions both visually on a map and audibly in the ambulance.

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Communications Minister Denis Naughten TD, Ambulance Director Martin Dunne and Health Minister Simon Harris TD.
(Photo: Courtesy Eircode Press Office)

Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment, Denis Naughten TD, said; “The use of Eircode by the National Ambulance Service underpins the role of Eircode in getting essential services to our citizens. Eircode is instrumental in allowing a critically important emergency service to operate at its best. In recent research it was found that 84% of people across the country can give the Eircode for their address. This Eircode awareness, combined with the launch of the National Ambulance Service in-ambulance Mobile Data Terminal units will enable an ambulance to quickly and accurately be routed to someone in need of medical help.”

35% of addresses in Ireland are non-unique but Eircodes are unique. Non-unique addresses have caused significant operational challenges for the NAS in the past but Eircode have helped solve this challenge.

Minister for Health, Simon Harris TD said; “The National Ambulance Service is a critically important emergency service and Eircode helps it to do its job better, when finding and getting to addresses. Eircodes helps provide a caller’s location and a speedy response when calling for an ambulance. The in-ambulance Mobile Data Terminal units are a fantastic addition to our service and help ambulance crews perform to the best of their abilities, when their vital skills are under the highest levels of stress and time is of the essence.”

The in-ambulance MDTs are currently operational in Cork and Kerry and will be rolled out throughout the country over the next few years.

Karen Dwyer, Operations Director, Eircode, said: “We are very pleased that an organisation as essential as the National Ambulance Service is utilising the Eircode system to help improve service delivery. This is exactly the type of purpose that Eircode is designed to fulfil and the more it continues to perform to make life simple and straightforward for Irish citizens, the better.”

Since its launch in July 2015, Eircode usage, as part of an address, continues to grow and Eircodes are used widely among the public, businesses and the public sector. The free to use Eircode Finder, is an online app that both public and businesses use to find Eircodes for addresses and to get directions to address locations. The Eircode Finder has proved very popular with the public with over 22.2 million searches since its launch in 2015. On average, the finder is visited 33,000 per day this year.

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Gardaí to use Leitrim Comhairle na nÓg promotional video

A video by Leitrim Comhairle na nÓg youths will be used by gardaí to help promote the ‘Use your Brain Not Your Fists’ campaign.

The video depicts the dangers of using violence in an argument and the consequences of assaults which can devastate lives forever.

The campaign was launched at the Bush Hotel in Carrick-on-Shannon, Co. Leitrim today. The video is so strong and educational, it prompted District Court Judge Kevin Kilrane to suspend the court sitting to attend the launch himself, in order to support and enforce the campaign.

960 Leitrim Comhairle Garda Sgt Kelvin Courtney, Crime Prevention Unit, with Jodie O'Boyle, Arlene Beirne, and Ned Sweeney
L-R: Jodie O’ Boyle, Arlene Beirne, Sgt Kelvin Courtney and Ned Sweeney.
(Photo: Brian Farrell, Sligo/Leitrim Garda Division)

Leitrim Comhairle na nÓg decided to launch the campaign following a decision at their AGM. The youths were inspired and motivated to produce the video following the death of Carrick on Shannon’s Andrew Dolan who died after an unprovoked attack and Shane Grogan from Tuam who suffered catastrophic brain injury after an attack.

The campaign targets over 18’s and is aimed to bring home the fact that a quick violent action/reaction can devastate lives forever. ‘Use Your Brain Not Your Fist’ outlines the consequences of assaults, not just to the victims in terms of injury, but also to the perpetrators, in terms of prison, lost career and travel prospects and shame to themselves and their families.

Leitrim Comhairle na nÓg said there was a need to educate teenagers at an earlier age, so they came up with the idea of making a video for their peers.

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Mr. Joseph Gilhooly, A Commissioner Finbarr O Brien, Mr. Joe Dolan, Chief Superintendent Aidan Glacken
(Photo: Brian Farrell, Sligo/Leitrim Garda Division)

The video is dedicated to Shane Grogan and is in memory of Andrew Dolan, two victims of unprovoked attacks. Andrew Dolan, from Carrick-on-Shannon, died days after he was assaulted in Mullingar in December 2011, while Shane Grogan has been left brain damaged after an attack in August 2012.

An Garda Síochána support and endorse the campaign and it is expected to be rolled out nationwide to be viewed in schools and as part of the garda’s Community Safety promotional and awareness campaigns.

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Gardaí and Public Representatives at the launch.
(Photo: Brian Farrell, Sligo/Leitrim Garda Division)

Cathoirleach of Leitrim County Council Councillor Finola Armstrong McGuire, Cathaoirleach of Leitrim County Council said “politicians are taking a stand with our young people to stamp out violence”.

Garda Chief Superintendent Aiden Glacken spoke of the courage of the young people to create this film. “It is hoped that this video will touch the minds of young people and help them to engage their brains and walk away from any altercation and to not partake in violence, as a simple punch can devastate lives.”

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Carlow Order of Malta team qualify for Cape Town competitions

The members of Order of Malta in Carlow are celebrating following their achievements at the Rescue Organisation Ireland competitions in Tipperary over the weekend.

The team won three awards in the Trauma category, including being voted 2nd place in overall national best team.

Carlow Order of Malta also made their mark within the voluntary ambulance service nationally, as they were the first OMAC team to represent the organisation at this international event.

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Carlow Order of Malta Team: Back L-R: Ro Boyle and Ben Miller, Front L-R: Sgt JOhn Lally, Sgt Terry Kerschbaum and Ashling Hutton
(Photo: Declan Keogh / Emergency Times)

The OMAC Carlow team were Sergeant John Lally, Ro Boyle, Ashling Hutton and Ben Miller. Sergeant Terry Kerschbaum was also at the awards ceremony. They won Best Complex Scenario, Best Voluntary Team and they also came 2nd place in Overall Best National Team.

One of the teams, Sergeant John Lally and his team partner Ro Boyle are now eligible to travel to Cape Town, South Africa to represent Ireland in the international Rescue competitions.

L-R: ROI Chair Pádraig O’ Longáigh, Sgt John Lally, Tipperary Chief Fire Officer Dave Carroll and Ro Boyle
(Photo: Declan Keogh / Emergency Times)

John Lally said “All of our members have done us so proud here in the Order of Malta Carlow Unit, and did so before we even knew the results. This wonderful group give up their time regularly and consistently to upskill, teach others, attend local events/days out and rush to help poorly people in an emergency at a moment’s notice, at any time of day or night. They ask for nothing in return but the chance to help others.”

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L-R: Sgt John Lally, Ro Boyle, Ashling Hutton and Ben Miller
(Photo: Declan Keogh / Emergency Times)

Carlow Fire & Rescue Service’ Trauma team who also participated in the competitions at the weekend also won 3rd place in Best Overall team also offered the Order of Malta team some advice and guidance for the challenges. John Lally said “It’s fantastic to have an opportunity for the team to showcase their skills, and then be recognised and acknowledged for the hard work and commitment they’ve shown. We would like to recognise our wonderful friends in the Carlow Fire Service who came third in the over-all National Best Team section. Their help and guidance has been invaluable. We look forward to working alongside them closely and are so excited to say that the Carlow Fire Service are also eligible to represent Ireland in Capetown too.”

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Carlow Fire & Rescue Trauma Team: L-R: ROI Chair Pádraig O’ Longáigh, Dermot Scully, Paul Curran and Tipperary Chief Fire Officer Dave Carroll.
(Photo: Declan Keogh / Emergency Times)

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Laois Fire Service are red hot at rescue challenge awards

A lovely night for Lovely Laois as the county’s fire and rescue service were crowned overall winners in two categories at the Rescue Organisation Ireland’s international challenge held in Tipperary yesterday.

Laois County Fire & Rescue Service received seven awards, including ‘Best Overall Extrication Team’ and ‘Best Overall Trauma Team’. The awards ceremony was held at The Thatch, Ballycommon, Co. Tipperary following an intense day of extrication and trauma demonstrations in glorious sunshine at Nenagh Fire Station.

By: Declan Keogh
This is Laois’ eight year to attend this competition and their first year to achieve the highest accolades in the challenges. The Laois Fire & Rescue Team were led by I.C. (Incident Commander) James Browne, S/O in Portlaoise.

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Photo: Declan Keogh / Emergency Times

Other fire service teams from across Ireland and Europe also took part in the event. It was a first show at the event for both Dublin Fire Brigade and Kildare Fire Service.

The Order of Malta’s Carlow unit also marked a first, not just for Carlow but for Order of Malta Ireland as they too were the first OMAC team to participate.

Carlow Fire & Rescue Service; a much respected and watched team didn’t enter an extrication team this year, however, their Trauma team did participate.

The Laois Fire & Rescue team competed in two RTC Extrication challenges including a 10-minute RTC ‘Rapid’ challenge, a 30-minute ‘Complex Scenario’ in Pit 2. The team also competed in two ‘Trauma’ challenges in both the standard and complex scenarios.

Assistant Chief Fire Officer Anthony Tynan spoke to Emergency Times at the awards ceremony last night and said the Laois teams hard work paid off. “It’s a great achievement for Laois, its our eight year at this event and the first year to win overall and we are thrilled about it. This year it’s pretty much a clean sweep for Laois with Best Overall Trauma, Best Overall Extrication, Best I.C., Best Medic, Best Tech and all the way through.”

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Photo: Declan Keogh / Emergency Times

Training for the international competition is always ongoing and firefighters in each team around the country do so on their own time and at their own expenses. ACFO Tynan told Declan Keogh “This doesn’t happen in a bubble, our training has been going on for years, since that first attendance in 2010, we’ve been getting lads in together, all the year through, lads come in on their own time and expense. It’s a fantastic effort, a fantastic commitment and they get great support from their families, their stations and colleagues, and that’s al paid off for them here this year.”

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The Rescue Organisation Ireland challenges are something that Laois firefighters and fire officers, current and retired, have been involved with since they entered in 2010. One of the initial I.C’s with the Laois team is retired Station Officer Gay Lawlor from Durrow fire station. Although he has left the fire service, Gay continues to lend support to his former colleagues and team. “It’s a great achievement, I’m real proud of these lads, they go above and beyond the call of duty. Much of their work in this challenge is voluntary and it just goes to show their hearts are in it. This is part of the good side of what the fire service does, everyone knows the fire service get called out to horrible scenes and even though you might not see a really bad one for a few weeks, or months or even a year, it’s what they are trained for and here tonight is a great pay back to them for all they train for. This is the good side of it and it’s great to have a social side of things.

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Declan Keogh chatting Retired Durrow S/O Gay Lawlor

Current Incident Commanded (IC) for the Laois ROI team is Portlaoise Station Officer James Brown, who says the support comes even further than just our firefighters. “This came about in 2010 when a team was put together for Laois. Gay was the first OiC aswell as another retired Station Officer George Broomfield, Portlaoise. I’d like to mention a few people who have given us great support, our Senior Officers Anthony Tynan and Shae Brennan and of course our own Chief Fire Officer Declan Power.

960 SG LS FRS James Brown Gay Lawlor Declan Keogh
(Retired S/O Gay Lawlor and Portlaois S/O James Brown chatting to Emergency Times)

It’s great to get the support and it has to start from the top, in particular, even though our efforts and training is voluntary, it’s great that senior officers allow us to use the equipment and facilities to carry out that training and the support from our other firefighters who are not here and the ones who are covering for us too while we are down here in Nenagh for this competition. We’re not used to winning at the ROI and we’ve always been knocking on the door and to give it a clean sweep tonight is absolutely fantastic and we’re all delighted it happened.”

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Pádraig O’ Longaigh presents IC James Brown with his award for Best IC
(Photo: Emergency Times)

Firefighters meet Ambulance Paramedics and Gardaí on the roadside at the scene of a collision all too often and in an instant their training and techniques kick into action. Competitions such as the Rescue Organisation Ireland internationals also provide its own challenges to the participating teams. A lot of hard work and persistence in training is key to a team’s performance at these competitions.

(Photo: James Doyle / Emergency Times)

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(Photos: James Doyle / Emergency Times)

Laois ACFO Anthony Tynan said “A trophy is lovely but really it’s about on the side of the road at 3 O’ Clock in the morning, faced with a difficult scenario, a difficult extrication  and all the skills and knowledge that’s been trained over the years comes to light and someone has an idea or sees a different technique which will help to get somebody out of a difficult spot and that’s where this really matters and its not just about the trophies, its also about the real incidents.

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Laois Team at their debrif following Extrication challenge.
(Photo: Declan Keogh / Emergency Times)

Our IC James Brown also put in a lot of work from the start. I’d like to thank all the team, and all the former members of the crews, a lot of people who have come through this team over the years, a lot of them who have also given a lot of their own time, effort and experience over the years, a lot of people who may have retired, for example, our first I.C. was Gay Lawlor and served for 47 years in the fire service in Laois, the longest in the country and its just great to see all the hard work that everyone has put in and its all paid off.


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Garda ERU involved in Order of Malta training conference

The Order of Malta held its 3rd annual ALS Conference at the Sheraton Hotel, Athlone, Co. Westmeath on Saturday 31st March.

Delegates included student paramedics, advanced paramedics, student nurses, doctors, nurses and medical students. The Advanced Life Support (ALS) conference is an opportunity for members, non-member clinicians and medical professionals as instructors within the organisation who kindly volunteer their time to assist the Ambulance Corps during training and at local, regional and national duties, events and festivals; to up-skill their own training and development.

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OMAC’s Tommy Maguire. Photo: (OMAC ALS Conference)

The conference is a training day which adds to the current training and development programmes undertaken and run by Order of Malta Ireland.

The ALS conference is supported by the Order of Malta nationally and is a commitment to its organisers who work hard every year to provide an information packed, hands on training conference to delegates.

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This year’s conference involved the Garda Emergency Response Unit (ERU) who gave presentations on ballistics and injury patterns. Members of the ERU also took part in an exercise in the soccer stadium in Athlone where Order of Malta volunteers encountered an incident where several people were injured by an armed assailant.

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960 OMAC ALS Garda ERU and Team
(Photo courtesy of OMAC ALS Conference)

A number of other presentations were also delivered during the day. Speakers included Dr. David Menzies, ED Consultant who delivered on the ‘Introduction of Emergency Doctors in the Pre-Hospital setting in Ireland and Ultrasound in pre-hospital emergency care.’

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(Dr. David Menzeis instructing at conference)

ATACC faculty member and Advanced Paramedic with the National Ambulance Service, Stephen O’ Neill delivered practical sessions on haemorrhage control and advanced airway management.

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(Advanced Paramedic Stephen O’ Neill instructing t conference)

ALS Conference organiser Tommy Maguire spoke to Emergency Times’ Declan Keogh today and outlined the benefit of the conference. “This is our 3rd ALS conference and we are really delighted with the interest again this year. The conference provides an opportunity for members to increase our knowledge and advance on our own skills to enhance the care we give and also assist in the delivery of training within OMAC.  We were also delighted to have support from the Garda ERU for this year’s conference.”

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Civil Defence volunteer to raise plenty of dough as he milks sponsorship deal with Avonmore and Brennan’s Bread.

A Civil Defence volunteer is to consider a joint sponsorship deal between Avonmore Foods and Brennan’s Bread after his photo appeared in the national press while trudging through snow to deliver bread and milk to stranded locals in Kilteel, Co. Kildare during Storm Emma.

James Byrne from Donadea, Co. Kildare volunteered almost 60 hours of his time during the snow storm from Thursday to Monday, along with other volunteers.

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Civil Defence volunteer James Byrne. (Photo: Damien Eagers)

The sponsorship deal will be part of an advertising campaign prior to and during upcoming severe storm warnings issued by Met Éireann, and in on occasions where heavy snow is expected.

The Minister for Defence, Paul Kehoe TD congratulated the Civil Defence volunteer for his efforts on Twitter saying ‘What a fantastic picture captured by @Independent_ie in Kildare, James Byrne. He and his colleagues have dropped everything over the past few days to assist their communities through Storm Emma. Thank You!’.

Paul Kehoe TD Tweet James Byrne

The Civil Defence College also praised the work and efforts of Mr. Byrne and his colleagues around the country during the snow storm.

Speaking to today, James Byrne said ‘I’m hoping to make a lot of dough from this, I’m gonna milk it altogether, and that’s snow joke’.

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(Photo: Damien Eagers)

Break-ins at Mountain Rescue and Civil Defence units

Gardaí in Sligo town are investigating two incidents in which the Sligo/Leitrim Mountain Rescue base and the Civil Defence base in Sligo town were broken into last night.

Sligo/Leitrim Mountain Rescue reported the break-in which occurred last night.

A number of items were taken including search torches and projectors which are used for training purposes. Some damage was also caused to the interior of the rescue base.

Sligo Leitrim MRS Storyboard

Emergency Times also understands the Sligo Civil Defence base was also broken into.

The mountain rescue and the civil defence bases are located on St. Johns Terrace in Sligo town. In February, Sligo/Leitrim Mountain Rescue hosted the annual AGM for Mountain Rescue Ireland.

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Photo: (Sligo/Leitrim Mountain Rescue Team)

Anyone with any information or may have witnessed anything suspicious in the area are asked to contact Sligo Garda Station on 071-9157000 or any garda station.

‘Chronic shortage’ of garda sergeants than necessary minimum

The Association of Garda Sergeants and Inspectors held its annual conference in Carlow this week and have outlined their concerns about the lack of garda sergeants in the force.

AGSI General Secretary John Jacob warned of a ‘chronic shortage’ of garda sergeants which he says are 160 fewer than the necessary minimum. The association also said there are too many bodies overseeing the work of the gardaí which, the AGSI says, the message of reform is being lost because of so many of these overseeing bodies.

In response to delegates, Acting Garda Commissioner Donal Ó Cualáin said he shares their concern over the lack of sufficient supervisors in An Garda Siochána and added ‘the shortages were due to legacy issues, primarily the moratorium on recruitment and promotions. He added ‘this was a big risk for the organisation and hoped that the employment ceiling on the number of sergeants would be raised.’

(Acting Garda Commissioner Donal Ó Cualáin) Photo Emergency Times

The AGSI outlined the organisations which are responsible for overseeing the garda force; The Policing Authority, the Garda Ombudsman Commission, the Commission on the Future of Policing and also the Oireachtas Committee.

The association’s General Secretary said ‘there is little coordination between these bodies and some are doing the same job at a cost to the taxpayer. The message of reform is being lost and little change is being seen at the frontline with so many organisations involved.’

John Jacob says it is up to the Government to either rationalise or abolish any of the organisations but that one of them should be responsible for the delivery of change.