A new mobile phone precise location service will help emergency services locate callers who need assistance more quickly and accurately, the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment has said.
Denis Naughten said the new mobile phone system was a vital service as "it will mean emergency services can get to emergencies far quicker."
Speaking on Morning Ireland he said the great advantage of this new service will be in isolated rural areas when people get into difficulty.
The new service is called Advanced Mobile Location (AML) and uses a phone's location capabilities to automatically tell rescuers where the call is being made from.
At present when a caller to the emergency services is unable to give their location, the only information available to the services is the approximate position of the mobile mast connecting the call, which often covers an area of several, to more than 100 kilometres.
But AML uses the location capabilities on Android phones to give first responders a far more accurate position.
The service is built into Android phones running Google Play services 9 or over.
When someone calls 999 or 112 on a smartphone running AML, the phone automatically activates its location service within 25 seconds and tries to establish a position.
It can do this using GPS, Wifi signals and nearby mobile cells and masts.
If a location is established, the phone sends a special text to the Emergency Call Answering Service with the position accurate to under 50 metres or better.
The technology is already in use in the UK, Estonia, Lithuania, Austria, and New Zealand.