February 11 is the European 112 Day. On this day, different awareness and networking activities are organised throughout the EU in order to promote the existence and use of Europe’s single emergency number.
112 is the European emergency phone number, available everywhere in the EU, free of charge.
It is possible to call 112 from fixed and mobile phones to contact any emergency service: an ambulance, the fire brigade or the police.
When a person dials 112, a specially trained operator will answer the call. Depending on the national organisation of emergency services, the operator will either deal with the request directly or transfer the call to the most appropriate emergency service.
Operators in many countries can answer the calls not only in their national language, but also in English or French. If the caller does not know where he is, the operator will identify where the person making the call is physically located and will pass it to the emergency authorities so that these can help immediately.
112 doesn’t replace the existing national emergency numbers. In most countries, it operates alongside them. However, Denmark, Finland, the Netherlands, Portugal, Sweden, Malta and Romania have opted for 112 as their main national emergency number.
112 is also used in some countries outside the EU – such as Switzerland and South Africa – and is available worldwide on GSM mobile networks.