Emergency number 112 European regulated: fast help for everyone

If you see a dangerous potentially life-threatening situation or you witness criminal behavior, you can call 112. For us in the Netherlands it is obvious that this number must be dialed to get the right authorities. Although the number has been available for years for emergencies, it is only known for around 30% of Europeans. People usually use the local number. What does the 112 emergency number mean and how is it promoted within Europe?

Emergency number 112


In our country, too, we initially had a different number. The number 06-11 entered in 1990 could be called if a threatening circumstance was applicable. To be able to offer everyone within Europe the same help via a single number, the new number 112 was introduced from 1997. Anyone within Europe can call the toll-free number to request assistance so that emergency services are on site quickly.

When to call emergency number 112?

The number is specifically intended for life-threatening or dangerous circumstances for the person or others. It may be that people have seen an accident, witness criminal behavior, there is a fire, and so on. It is therefore a serious dangerous emergency situation in which potentially injured or killed people can fall. In that case, everyone has the right to dial the number, so that the correct authorities are informed and arrive quickly.

How are you being helped?

If there is an emergency, you can call the number. You will then come into contact with the central control room, which can communicate in 170 different languages. So you can always make yourself understood in your own language. If you do not know where you are, the control room can quickly determine where you are via the fixed line or mobile, so that the emergency services always end up in the right place.

Additional promotion

Although the number is well established within our country, there are still many within the European borders who are not aware of it. That is why the EU tries extensively to inform the population about the usefulness and necessity of the number. Safety is of great importance to everyone and therefore everyone should be informed in a handy way. Although 112 has been entered as the emergency number in Denmark, Finland, the Netherlands, Portugal, Sweden, Malta and Romania, the local emergency number is often used in other countries. Think of the 999 in England. In that case both numbers are applied side by side and you can always call in the emergency services in both ways. It is, of course, important to raise awareness by promoting the European number in addition.


Despite the fact that we assume that only adults can call the number, that is of course incorrect. Children can also see danger and must have the ability to call the number. Every second also counts if the child is the only one with the ability to call. It is therefore necessary to point out to the child when one may or may not call the number. To this end, special information methods have been developed for school and at home to inform the child in a convenient way. There are several online games and instructional material, so that the child is taught in a playful way when the number can be used. See for example the informing kids corner established by the EU: kids corner EU


Although the number is a central point within Europe for reporting danger, it is not regulated worldwide. Yet it can be used in some countries such as Switzerland and South Africa. In addition, it is also accessible worldwide via the mobile GSM network. Note that it is often more convenient in non-European countries to call the local emergency number directly. For example, think of 911 in the United States. If you are traveling for a short period of time in a non-European country, you should do well to inform yourself about the local emergency number.

Help texting

People who are dependent on others, who are disabled or who cannot speak can also get help. To this end, one can do a pre-registration with the emergency services. You can send a message with a short text message to indicate an emergency situation. This can also include a button, so that the control room is informed of the circumstance quickly and conveniently.

Video: Emergency Call 112 - Notruf 112 'Ladder Truck & 2 Car Accident' PC Gameplay (February 2020).

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