Council teams with Loc8 in water safety initiative

June 4th, 2021 8:00 PM

By Siobhan Cronin

In the event of an emergency, there is no need for users to have a special app, they can just ring 999 or 112 and give the Loc8 Code displayed on the buoy.

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A CROSSHAVEN-based company has teamed up with Cork County Council on a scheme that will eventually see a unique location code for every coastal ringbuoy in the county.

Over the last few months the Council has been rolling out the ‘Loc8 Code’ initiative, as a vital part of its water safety programme.

In the event of an emergency, there is no need for users to have a special app, they can just ring 999 or 112 and give the Loc8 Code displayed on the buoy, to give an exact location.

‘Loc8 Code was fully adopted by the National Ambulance Service in 2017 to cover all those places which have no Eircode or where the Eircode does not work for any reason,’ explained founder of Crosshaven-based Loc8, Gary Delaney. ‘Loc8 Code is integrated into the ambulance service’s emergency call answering system, their mapping system and their vehicle navigation systems in the same way as Eircode is.’

He added that the Loc8 Code was developed over several years from 2005 onwards and became the first non-national coding system adopted on a mainstream navigation platform with Garmin for testing in 2007, and on all their SatNav devices from 2010.

‘Loc8 Code has a long term commitment from Garmin for continued support as a free standard feature on their devices serving both the Republic and Northern Ireland also,’ explained Gary.

It can also be used via a web app which requires no downloading or installing and is also used by the HSE for major emergency planning.

‘It was first used by the gardaí to position resources at Cork Airport on the day of the Manx Air crash, just over 10 years ago this year,’ added the former naval officer. ‘It is also used for rail emergency access points, major gas and electrical installations and emergency infrastructure at industrial sites.’ Because the Eircode system is only attached to one building on a site, eg the farmhouse on a farm Loc8 Code is a more accurate locator, says Gary. ‘It can be put on any safety signage anywhere which can be energy, construction or industrial-related, and it is also being used on signs around remote farmyards and farm buildings.’

He explained that, for example, if an accident occurs at a farm building away from the family home, that exact building can be pinpointed for the emergency services by the Loc8 system.

‘To check and ensure your Loc8 Code or Eircode are correct before you need to rely on them in an emergency, you can check them on where you’ll also find handy advice for making signs to display the codes, to ensure they are available to all in an emergency,’ said Gary.

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