We’ve all had it drummed into us since childhood that the telephone number you call in an emergency is 999 â€“ right?
Well whilst this is still correct, things have changed slightly, but not many people seem to know about it!
Think about this…… You are on holiday in France (which is so easy to get to these days). It’s late, it’s dark, you’re driving along a small country road and you’re lost! For whatever reason your Sat Nav isn’t helping you find where you need to be and your mobile phone has no signal!! All this useless technology is distracting you from driving and when you look back up at the road, you have to swerve to avoid something and end up in a ditch. Don’t panic, you’re not badly hurt, but you are lost, you need help and you have no mobile signal!
So who do you call….? In the UK you would dial 999, but what about elsewhere? In Europe you want to dial 112.
112 is the European Emergency Services number – It’s been in operation for a few years, yet only a tiny proportion of the UK even know about it! And it’s not just for when you’re holidaying in Europe â€“ you can use it for UK emergencies too and it’ll go through to the same operator that dialling 999 would reach.
Like 999, 112 is a recognised emergency number so you can call it from a mobile phone even if you don’t have any signal. (It will automatically roam for another signal if your operator’s is not available) This is super handy for when you are ‘in the middle of no-where’ and those all important signal bars are showing EMPTY.
Also, the emergency services use a GPS tracking system and can locate where you are calling from within seconds. Perfect for when you don’t know the answer the that all important question ‘Where are you?’
And what about for non-emergency calls. If you need to speak to the police because your car has been stolen, or to report a minor car accident, but don’t feel it’s necessary to dial 999, you can dial 101. This will put you through to your local police station who will be happy to deal with your enquiry, without disturbing those working on the 999/112 emergency helpline.