What is the 112 Emergency number?
In the UK we’re taught from a young age to call 999 for any kind of emergency, but did you know that you can also use the number 112? Not only that, but 112 works throughout all the countries in Europe, and will connect you to the emergency services in all the member states of the EU, as well as many other countries worldwide.
112 was set up as the standardised emergency number by the EU Council in 1991 and was adopted by all member states, usually in conjunction with the existing, established number, that’s why in the UK you can use either 999 or 112 to contact the emergency services.
If you dial 112 in another country you will be connected with the local emergency centre, if you know the local language you should use that, if not then speak clearly in English.
The 112 Myth
There has been an article circulating on social media claiming that you can use 112 to call the emergency services from a mobile phone, even if there is no signal, as 112 will connect you to a satellite network; this is false, no standard mobile handset has the power to connect to satellite. Whenever you call 999 or 112 from your mobile, you will connect to the strongest network signal, regardless of who your contract is with. So your phone may be showing low or no signal, but another network may be stronger where you are and you will connected through that instead. You’ll find more information on this myth here.
If you would like to learn how to treat a sick or injured person whilst you wait for the emergency services to arrive then you’ll find details of our first aid courses here, along with the dates of our upcoming events. We can also provide training at dates & times to suit you, including evenings and weekends, contact us for details.
Where you can use 112
You can use 112 in Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Denmark, Germany, Estonia, Finland, France, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxemburg, Malta, the Netherlands, Austria, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Slovakia, Spain, the Czech Republic, the United Kingdom and Sweden.
In the following countries the emergency number 112 is active as well: Israel, Norway, Russia, Turkey, and Switzerland.
Other countries world wide also use 112 and it’s always a good idea before you travel to check up to date information for what to do in an emergency in the country you are visiting, which you can do here.
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Next week – how to add emergency medical information to your mobile.