Limerick Council uses texting as lifeline


1 Jul 2008

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Lifebuoys are an essential element to the prevention of drowning in Irish waterways and when these are vandalised or removed it could mean the loss of a life.

Limerick County Council is tackling this problem with the use of remote text alert technology as part of its corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiative.

The text alert has been fitted to lifebuoys at six locations around Limerick county and if anyone tampers with these this will be detected and a message automatically sent to council headquarters.

Response Group, an Irish water and wastewater treatment firm, is providing Limerick Council with this technology. Right now this is in the pilot-project stage.

As part of this initiative Mike Mc Ennis of Celtrak is working with Response Group on the technology end.

Geoff O’Sullivan, chief operating officer with Response Group, said: “We are delighted to be able to assist Limerick County Council with this project and we are looking forward to providing and maintaining the technology and range of services necessary to make this project a success.”

Kevin Sheehan, chairman of Limerick County Council, hopes this will help the lifebuoy situation because the council is constantly trying to get across the message that ‘a stolen ringbuoy means a stolen life’.

“The council provides and maintains lifebuoys at more than fifty locations. Some are respected properly, but regrettably some others are frequently vandalised. Anyone who interferes with a lifebelt is endangering a life, and deserves punishment by the rigours of the law for their recklessness.

“I hope this new technology will enable us to catch these vandals in the act, in cooperation with the Gardaí, and I hope it will serve as a warning to them to desist from damaging our vital life-saving equipment.”

By Marie Boran