Lifesaver celebrates 25th birthday. The emergency number 112 saves lives – throughout Europe.
July 29 marks the birthday of the European emergency number 112. The decision of introducing 112 as the single emergency number goes back to a recommendation of the European Conference of Postal and Telecommunications Administrations (CEPT) of 1976. The single European emergency number 112 was finally adopted by Council decision on July 29 in 1991. In all EU countries the emergency number 112 can be called free of charge and without having to dial any prefix number and is available 24h/24. It connects people seeking help automatically with the local emergency center (i.e. police, fire brigade and ambulance). The operator will then transfer the call to the appropriate emergency service. If the caller is unsure as to which service they require, the operator will in most cases default the call to the police.
It is important that the European 112 emergency number becomes more popular. Most EU citizens are unfamiliar with 112 as an EU-wide emergency number: just over a quarter correctly identify 112 as the number to call anywhere in the EU in the event of an emergency. 112 works right across the EU and in many other countries too such as, Switzerland, Iceland and Norway, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro, Moldova, Russia, Serbia, Turkey and Ukraine. Please inform yourself before starting your journey to another country, as the above mentioned, about the local emergency number.
The European emergency number 112 is a symbol of help. It is organized and managed at the closest possible level to the public and this life-saving EU-product therefore has a variety of advantages for European citizens. Firstly, 112 constitutes an easy number to remember and, secondly, 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.
The European emergency number already received its main birthday gift in 2009 with its own campaign day. The "Day of Europe-wide 112 emergency number" is celebrated annually on 11 February (11.2.). The intention is to promote the single European emergency number in public and to raise awareness among member states of the European Union.