Muintir na Tíre, the National Association for Community Development, has launched a new safety programme – the Personal Information Pack (PIP).

PIP enables ambulance and fire services, An Garda Síochána, or other first responders to immediately access vital information in the event of a vehicle accident.

It provides medical, emergency contact, and other information to allow immediate, safe, and effective action.

A key part of the programme is the display of the identifying sticker in standard places so that the emergency services are aware immediately that the information is available.

Muintir na Tíre campaign

Launching the PIP, Minister of State for transport, Hildegarde Naughton, said: “The primary aim of the government’s road safety strategy is to reduce the number of deaths and serious injuries on Irish roads by 50% over the next 10 years.

“I welcome the introduction of the PIP, which should improve outcomes for anybody unfortunate enough to be involved in a road traffic accident.

“It is particularly encouraging that this is a community-led initiative, demonstrating the growing importance of road safety to communities across the country,” she added.

Niall Garvey, CEO Muintir na Tíre; Minister Hildegarde Naughton; Gerard Costello, development officer, Muintir na Tíre.

Muintir na Tíre president, Paddy Fitzpatrick said: “It is almost 40 years since Muintir launched the Community Alert programme. Initially required as a crime prevention measure for rural communities, it has evolved into a broader community safety programme.

“The PIP is a logical extension of our very successful Bottle in the Fridge programme, which has greatly increased the safety of people in their own homes, particularly those who are vulnerable or live alone.

“We look forward to extending this safety net outside the home,” he added.

CEO, Niall Garvey explaine that the Bottle in the Fridge campaign has been so successful because of the partnership with first responders, who were able to immediately recognise the availability of emergency medical and contact information.

“We will be encouraging our own many groups initially to roll this out in their communities and protect themselves and their families and neighbours,” Garvey said.

“It will also be available to the general public. Ideally it would never be used, but it will. If it saves one life or improves the outcome for one injured person, the project will be worthwhile.”

Community approach

Muintir na Tire was founded in 1937 as the National Association for Community Development. It works directly with over 200 community councils, both rural and urban.

In 1984 Muintir founded the Community Alert programme in response to an increase in rural crime. This programme is operated to this day, supporting over 1,400 Community Alert groups, in partnership with An Garda Siochána.

In 2013, Muintir launched the Community Text Alert programme, also in partnership with An Garda Siochána, and other community groups.

Over 1,000 groups now use the programme, receiving alerts from an Garda Síochána.

Muintir administers several schemes on behalf of community groups, such as the Text Alert Rebate Scheme. This scheme sees Text Alert groups receive a rebate on their eligible operating costs.

Muintir has also recently launched the Cairde mobile app, designed to connect, secure and empower communities.