If you are on holiday in Europe, but you find yourself in an emergency situation or witness an incident that needs to be reported to the authorities, what number should you call? 911 won’t get you very far in Europe. Read on to learn what to do and what number you should call in Europe.
Dial 999 in the UK
In an emergency situation in the UK, dial 999 right away. This number will get you through to the police, ambulance, fire brigade, and other services you might need, such as an air ambulance, within a matter of seconds. Calmly state your emergency, confirm your address and wait for the emergency services to turn up. Alternatively, dial 112.
Dial 112 in Continental Europe
According to BritishExpats.com, many EU citizens are not aware that 112 is the universal emergency service number throughout all 27 EU member states. Use this emergency number in Europe from a land line, public pay phone or from a mobile phone, free of charge. In July 2009, British citizens using their mobile phones in another EU member state to call the emergency services would receive an SMS, giving them more information about the emergency 112 service number.
Does 112 Replace Existing National Emergency Numbers?
According to the European Commission Information Society, the number 112 does not replace existing national emergency phone numbers. In most EU countries, 112 works alongside the existing national emergency phone numbers. However, some countries, notably Denmark, Finland, the Netherlands, Portugal, Sweden, Malta and Romania have chosen 112 as their sole national emergency number.
Reporting an Incident While Abroad
English-speaking citizens from the UK, USA, Republic of Ireland and elsewhere may hesitate to dial 112 abroad, as they are not familiar with the language. However, many operators who answer 112 emergency calls can speak English or another language, which will make it easier for you to communicate the nature of the emergency.
What to Provide when you dial 112
When you dial 112, make sure you provide your name, address and phone number. Emergency operators must identify callers so that the same incident is not reported more than once.
Visitors to the UK should dial 999 in an emergency. If you plan to visit Continental Europe, remember that 112 is the emergency phone number used in the other EU member states.
European Commission Information Society