Emergency number

Discussion in 'Cultural Discussions' started by Whodunit, Mar 7, 2005.

  1. apmoy70

    apmoy70 Senior Member

    In Greece its:
    100 for Police Immediate Response
    108 for Port Police-Coast Guard
    109 for Counter Narcotics Police Unit
    170 for Counter Terrorism Police Unit
    171 for Tourist Police
    166 for Ambulance or Medical Emergency
    199 for Firefighters
  2. Hulalessar

    Hulalessar Senior Member

    English - England
    112 is in use throughout the EU and is also used elsewhere. If everyone has the same number there is no problem when travelling abroad. Most (?all) countries using 112 have retained their historic emergency number. That obviously makes sure those who have not heard about the change (or forgotten it - quite likely in an emergency) still get out through.

    999 was chosen in Britain to enable free calls from telephone boxes. The phones could more easily be configured to allow dialling 9 and 0 without prepaying. 999 was used rather than 000 because 0 was used to dial the operator. 999 also had the benefit that (compared to 111) it was not easily dialled accidentally, whether from a phone or by the wind or birds jiggling overhead telephone wires.
  3. rur1920 Senior Member

    That the same office is reached in two ways is confusing to the mind, because it cannot figure out whether it is true but feels it needs to. In case of an emergency, one has to think of this confusion and possibly lose time on deciding with oneself why this situation arose. We all become rather silly, I think, when we become nervous and have to act quickly.
  4. Stoggler

    Stoggler Senior Member

    Sussex, GBR
    UK English
    Do you know all of those off by heart, or did you have to look some of them up? Doesn't having lots of different numbers make it more difficult to remember them all, and trying to remember the right one in an emergency when you're not perhaps thinking straight is less likely.
  5. xmarabout

    xmarabout Senior Member

    French - Belgium
    "112 is the European emergency phone number, available everywhere in the EU, free of charge.

    It is possible to call 112 from fixed and mobile phones to contact any emergency service: an ambulance, the fire brigade or the police."
    From the official website of EU (28 member states).
    But some members states still have other numbers, together with 112, like GB (999) or for more specific services (in Belgium: 100 for the police only, 101 for ambulance and fire, ...). You have a nice list on wikipedia.
  6. Sepia Senior Member

    High German/Danish
    Well if you are not autistic, what is the problem with blocking out the others and dialing 112?

    I mean, in Spain I would in most cases use that too even if I remember the numbers of the three types of police I can call there - Polícía Local, Guardia Civil and Polícía Nacional. I mean OK, if it is about a traffic accident within city limits I know I should call the Polícía Local. But if I see a fight starting between alleged illegal immigrants over a drug deal basically all three will eventually be involved in the case - and I surely do not want to decide who should send officers to clear the situation. So I call 112. What else should I do?

    Besides, you do not get the same office - you get a dispatcher who passes on information to whoever is in charge - and as far as I know the 112 agents (in the EU) should be multilingual.

    Yeah, strange isn't it. And even if I know them by heart except for Ambulance and Fire Brigade, chances are that I call the wrong number anyway. Like, I am sitting on the beach with my camera zoom in on a yacht and see crew members handling AKs and rocket launchers. Who should I call - Coast Guard or Counter Terrorism Police?
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2015
  7. rur1920 Senior Member

    If everyone knows for sure that they can (read: if the logic behind this system is taught to all children since early childhood), then no problem at all. Provided I don't have to explain my problem twice (you don't know beforehand which factor turns out to be important in emergency).
  8. Sepia Senior Member

    High German/Danish
    That should normally not be a problem because the agent you are talking with is already passing on the most important information to a different agent, while still talking to you. So if it is clear that an accident has happened and you have told where, wheels may already be rolling while you are still talking. - At least that is the way it is organized where they are not complete idiots.
  9. apmoy70

    apmoy70 Senior Member

    I know by heart the numbers for Police (100), Ambulance (166), and Firefighters (199), everybody knows them here really, even kids, they're very well known.
    For the rest I had to look up.
    The European emergency phone nr 112 is for mobile phones.
  10. Peripes

    Peripes Senior Member

    Lima, Perú
    Español, Perú
    Here in Peru: Police-105, firefighters-116, civil defense-110 (nobody knows this one for sure), Red Cross-115. I once dialed 911 to see what would happen, turned out it worked and it was the police's emergency centre, I hung up almost immediately. In Lima, each district has its own watchmen and each have their very own telephone number (which is often called an emergency centre but I think it's hardly that) but, let's say that there's a burglar in the very limit of two districts, if he passes from one to another, watchmen can't do anything unless those from the district he is now on are there, and that seldom happens. Where I live it is their number is 448-1680 (not a special number). Watchmen can't carry guns.

    Most people here just call the police in case of an emergency.
  11. Sepia Senior Member

    High German/Danish
    What exactly would you call the 110 - civil defense - number for, where you would not already have chosen 116 as the first possibility?
  12. Peripes

    Peripes Senior Member

    Lima, Perú
    Español, Perú
    They provide assitance in case of a natural disaster. However, these incidents are so noticable nobody really needs to call them. They also inspect buildings and such, to verify they're in good conditions. I just happened to see the number and it works, so I put it in there, but we seldom use it.
  13. xmarabout

    xmarabout Senior Member

    French - Belgium
    Not only, it is also working from a fixed phone. But it is free even on mobile phone even if you do not remeber your pin code to unblock your phone
  14. HilfswilligerGenosse Senior Member

    German, High German
    When do you need MDA or the "Homefront command" (sounds quite military?) instead of "conventional" police? When Hamas shot a rocket into your house and you somehow are still alive, or what?

    Also, here in Germany:

    110: Police (Polizei)
    112: fire brigade (Feuerwehr) and ambulance (Rettungsdienst/Notarzt)

    and there are some special (more or less) emergency numbers:

    116116: Kartensperrnotruf (emergency call for blocking cards, e.g. credit or ec cards)
    116117: Bereitschaftsdienst (for non-life-threatening but serious medical conditions on weekends or holidays)
    116111: Nummer gegen Kummer (lit.: Number against Sorrows - a hotline for children and youths in case of sorrows and depression, up to and including suicide prevention)
  15. luitzen Senior Member

    Frisian, Dutch and Low Saxon
    113 is the suicide hotline in the Netherlands.
  16. Lord Delfos

    Lord Delfos Senior Member

    Tandil, Argentina
    Castellano (Argentina)
    Similar in Argentina as well:

    100 Fire department.
    101 or 911 Police
    103 Civil Defense
    105 Environmental emergency ?
    106 Nautical Emergency ? No idea what this would be for.
    107 Medical Emergency

    And several other 3 digit codes for various things...

    All of which are being phased out in favor of 911. And this is a very very good idea. With all those numbers you can't remember which one is which.

    Some years ago I had to call the firefighters... and the number is... 102? 112? I don't know, my house is burning I better call somebody! Called the first number: "Police emergencies?" I hung out, called the second one: "medical emergencies, what ca..." hung again, called the third one and seeing it was something else, I asked the guy "hey buddy, what's the number for the fire department?" He told me, I hung out and called that (and immediately forgot the number again obviously).

    Turns out all calls were being redirected to the same center, the very same guy from the previous number answered the phone.

    Not a good idea to have all those emergency numbers, just use one and and transfer the call appropriately, the operator will be waaay more calm than the caller.
  17. IRAJ2000

    IRAJ2000 Senior Member

    In Iran:

    110 Police
    115 Medical Emergency
    125 Fire Department
    147 Red Crescent Society (the same as red cross )

    There are many other emergency phone numbers in my country but these are the most important ones.
  18. AutumnOwl Senior Member

    In Sweden it's 112, it used to be 90 000 until 1 June 1996. One reason for choosing 90 000 was that it was easy to use with the rotary deal, in Sweden 0 was the first and 9 the last hole in the dial which made it possible to dial even in the dark.

    As for my mobile phone, there is a "button" on the start screen for "Nödsamtal" (emergency call), so I don't have to lock up the phone, or even remember the number to dial.
  19. jsvillar Senior Member

    Spanish - Spain
    The number is unified in all Europe to 112, all threads agree that you can use it for general emergencies. Some of the old numbers still work in Spain, but if you call 112 they will manage and redirect you or just they will call.
    091 - National police
    092 - Town/local police
    061 - Medical emergency
    080 - Fire brigade
    (91) 232 32 32 - Madrid fire brigade (this was when I was a boy, I never understood why they didn't have a short number like the police. Finally they gave them the number 080)

    Couple of trivia:
    - the number is 112 so in rotary phones (something that used to exist many, many years ago) it took a short time to dial. It is not 111 to avoid mistakes with pushbutton phones.
    - All Spanish land lines start with a 9, the old prefix for area code (for instance, in Madrid, land lines start with 91). So if you are used to dial from the office, where you have to press '0' to get an outside line, then you go home and do the same, dialing '091...'. Instead of your mom's voice you hear 'This is the police, can I help you?'

    PS: In Spain, rotary phones went from 1 to 0. 1 disconnected the line one time, 9 did it nine times, and 0 did it ten times. I didn't know it could be different in other countries, as AutumOwl said!
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2017

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