As European citizens are increasingly travelling to other countries, for holidays, business or pleasure, there is a need for a single number, identical across the European Union (EU), to call in an emergency. Instead of having to remember several different numbers, citizens now need only one, wherever they go.
What happens when you call 112?
People calling 112 are connected to an operator. Depending on the national civil protection services, the operator will either deal with the request directly or transfer it to one of the emergency services(ambulance, fire brigade, police). In many cases, operators are able to answer in more than one language.
What can people expect from 112?
EU Member States must ensure that any user of a fixed or a mobile phone is able to call 112 on their territory. In addition, 112 calls must be appropriately answered and handled. In practice, this means that these calls should be treated in the same way as calls to other (national) emergency numbers. The quality of response to emergency calls should be the same, irrespective of whether a national number on 112 is used. Emergency services need to know where a person is calling from. This is particularly important for calls from mobile phones, as the caller, especially in an emergency, may not know exactly where he or she is.
All EU countries are required to inform citizens (nationals and visitors) of the existence of 112 and in which situation people should call. Interviews: Fabio Colasanti, European Commission Director General for Information Society and Media;
Patrick Dispa, 112 Centre Co-ordinator, The Netherlands
Olivier Paul-Morandini, European Emergency Number Association (www.eena.org)
Guy Bley, 112 Grand-Duché de Luxembourg (interview within the B-ROLL) Visit the site: www.mostra.com