Following the introduction of the Communications Regulation (Amendment) Act of 2007, the Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources (DCENR) tendered for a Supplier to provide the Emergency Call Answering Service (ECAS) for Ireland. On completion of this open tender process BT was awarded the contract (known as a Concession Agreement) to provide 112 and 999 call answering services on behalf of the state of Ireland. The contract, awarded following the public procurement process, will see BT Ireland operate the service until 2015.
Emergency Call Answering Service
Each year in Ireland, around five million emergency calls are made to 999 or 112. Such a volume of calls requires the best possible call answering service, as in an emergency situation it is essential that calls are handled quickly and effectively. Some improvments to the service will use the latest advances in technology
Changes that will occur include:
* Processing of mobile location information– where a person in an emergency situation is unable to state their location for any reason, some mobile base-station location information will be available automatically to the emergency services.
* Improved accuracy and speed – details of caller’s address and phone number will flash immediately on the screen of the call operator, allowing for the faster processing of the call.
* Improvement to the service for members of the deaf community – the Department of Communications, BT Ireland and ComReg will engage with representatives of the deaf community as to the provision of the best and most appropriate service for deaf people or those with a hearing impairment.
Consultation on handling calls from persons with disabilities
A consultation on handling calls from persons with disabilities and other possible call handling enhancements toke place in 2009.