The Minister for Communications, Denis Naughten, has published new figures, which show 150,000 emergency calls are made every month in Ireland. Minister Naughten has today published the latest figures relating to Ireland’s emergency call answering service [ECAS], which is responsible for dispatching 112 and 999 calls to the relevant frontline emergency services.
Last year a total of 1.8 million calls were made to ECAS which represents a 2.6% increase on 2016 levels. During Storm Ophelia, the figures show that over 9,000 calls were made to the emergency call answering service on one day alone – Tuesday October 17, 2017. The call volume peaked that day at 1:46pm, when 218 calls were received in 15 minutes.
Publishing the 2017 ECAS Annual Review, Minister Denis Naughten, said: “While we rightly celebrated and acknowledged the selfless professionalism of our frontline emergency personnel on National Services Day last weekend, today I want to pay tribute to the team responsible for answering and directing the 112 and 999 emergency calls, which the frontline personnel respond to.
“The men and women of Ireland’s emergency call answering service provide the first reassuring voice to people in their time of great need. This responsibility requires calmness and clarity under very difficult and often highly emotional circumstances.
“The Annual Review for 2017 that I am publishing today shows that over 150,000 calls are made to the State’s emergency call answering service every month. During Storm Ophelia last year, 9,007 calls were made on one day alone. I want to thank the staff of ECAS for their professionalism in handling such a significant volume of calls 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Behind every emergency is a first call for help, so let us not forget those who are responsible for answering that call.”
The Emergency Call Answering Service (ECAS) is responsible for answering all 112 and 999 emergency calls and texts, within the State.
The average speed of answer for a caller to ECAS was 0.71 seconds with more than 99% of calls answered within five seconds; this puts ECAS among the best performing countries in the EU.
The ECAS establishes the location of the incident and confirms the Emergency Service being requested (Garda, Fire, Ambulance or Coast Guard and Air Traffic Control in emergencies involving aircraft). The call or text is then transferred to the appropriate Emergency Service, which then takes responsibility for the call and responds to the emergency. The ECAS operators continue to monitor the call until it has been accepted by the emergency service.