Irish systems upgraded for new EU-wide emergency call system

Minister Denis Naughten says eCall will save lives

Irish systems upgraded for new EU-wide emergency call system

Image via @EuroParlPress on Twitter

The Government says Ireland's emergency call answering service has been upgraded to handle eCall communications.

The new EU-wide emergency call system is to be fitted on all new car models manufactured from March 31st.

eCall will see a call made to emergency services in the event of an accident.

It is activated automatically as soon as in-vehicle sensors and/or processors (such as an airbag) detect a serious crash.

Once set off, the system dials the emergency number 112 and sends details of the accident to the rescue services - including the time of incident, the accurate position of the crashed vehicle and the direction of travel.

An eCall can also be triggered manually by pushing a button in the car - for example by a witness to a serious accident.

How eCall works | Image: iheero.eu

When activated in Ireland, the device will establish an emergency call carrying both voice and data directly to the Emergency Call Answering Service - who will transfer the call to the required emergency service.

Where no voice is carried on the call, eCall allows for the data to be transferred directly to the National Ambulance Service.

Communications Minister Denis Naughten said: "eCall is the latest in a series of recent enhancements to the emergency call answering service which has included the incorporation of Eircodes and the launch last October of Advanced Mobile Location.

"I am confident that eCall technology will save lives by helping the emergency services quickly establish the precise location of road accidents and dispatch emergency personnel to motorists in need across the country."

The European Commission says it is estimated eCall could speed up emergency response times by 40% in urban areas and 50% in the countryside.