European Emergency Number 112

What is 112?

112 is the European emergency number in all 28 EU member states, as well as other countries in Europe and elsewhere. People in distress can call 112 24/7 to reach the fire brigade, medical assistance and the police. The European emergency number is free and can be reached by landline phones as well as mobiles.

The increased levels of Europeans travelling from one country to another led to the Council of the European Union introducing a common emergency number in all states in order to avoid the need of remembering different national emergency numbers depending on one's location. 112 constitutes an easy number to remember and, to add to this, the only number one needs to know when travelling in the EU, a highly valuable element when considering the state of distress people are in when in need of the emergency services.

What to do when dialling 112

Please note that the points below are not exhaustive but merely indicate an example of useful tips that are thought to benefit people in distress when dialling the emergency number.

Stay calm

When calling 112 it is important to stay calm. You need to provide the emergency service with relevant information

If possible, make the call yourself

If you can, make the call yourself. No one can explain the situation better than you

Wait until the operator answers your call

It may take a little time, but every repeated call is considered a new one and is put at the end of the queue, therefore the time of getting through might be prolonged

State your name, what happened, who is involved and indicate your location

When the operator answers your call, say your name, try to explain what happened and who is involved. Also, try to indicate your location the best way possible. It makes it easier for the emergency services to reach you.