“European 112 Day” on February 11 to inform on EU emergency phone number

Children Also Need to Know the Number 112

Feb 01, 2019

In the run-up to “European 112 Day” on February 11, DEKRA calls on all parents, teachers, and educators also to inform children about what they should do in an emergency. “When children know that they can quickly call for help dialing 112 in case of an emergency, it helps to save lives,” says Markus Egelhaaf, accident researcher at DEKRA.

  • Calling 112 is free, even on smartphones
  • Half of EU citizens do not know the number
  • DEKRA: “There’s no time to lose in an emergency”
As recently as September 2018, a four-year-old boy from the Spanish region of Castile and León was able to save his mother’s life by calling the emergency number. When the woman, who suffers from diabetes, fell unconscious, the boy dialed 112 and informed the emergency medical services. In May 2017, a four-year-old from Bavaria called for help on 112 when his grandmother suddenly fell over and lay motionless.
Since December 2008, 112 has been the standardized emergency call number for the European Union. Using this number, you can call for help free of charge and without an area code from all landline and cellular networks. Generally, if you call this number, you will reach a constantly manned call center where the local language and English are spoken as a minimum.
It does not matter whether you need the emergency medical services, the fire department, or the police; the emergency call will either be handled directly or passed on to the responsible coordination center after a quick query of the emergency situation. Many non-EU countries have now also affiliated themselves with this life-saving concept. The well-known national emergency call numbers – such as 110 in Germany, 17 in France or 113 in Italy for the police – remain in operation at the same time.
Even ten years after it has been set up EU-wide, not everyone knows about the number 112. In 2015, according to a survey by the EU, one in four members of the public in Germany (24%) still did not know the number 112. Across Europe, the life-saving combination of numbers was unknown even to one in two people (51%).
A standardized emergency call number is a great advantage, especially when traveling within the EU. As a result, no one needs to waste time looking for the right number, e.g. after a car accident.
“There is no time to lose in an emergency. The quicker the rescue services arrive at the scene, the better the chances of saving people’s lives,” says DEKRA accident researcher Markus Egelhaaf. “Whether calling from a smartphone or from a landline, 112 should be standard knowledge to everyone so that no valuable time is wasted looking for the right telephone number in an emergency. This also includes repeatedly teaching children when and how an emergency call should be made,” according to Egelhaaf.
Emergency Call 112: Important to Know
(Not Just For Children)
  • Dial 112 to call the emergency medical services, the fire department, or the police
  • For example, if there is an accident before school
  • If someone has seriously injured themselves when playing
  • If a house is burning
  • Seek help from an adult first
  • If there are no adults around, call 112
  • Tell the rescue center your name
  • Describe exactly what has happened and where
  • Do not hang up until the call center tells you to
  • Call 112 only if it is a real emergency!
  • Never prank call 112!
  • If you have called by mistake, do not just hang up, but say: “It was a mistake.” Otherwise, the ambulance will possibly head off for nothing
Besides: 112 is very easy to remember: Left thumb up for 1, right thumb up for 1, and both thumbs together for 2.