back to article What did you do on Emergency Services day?

Having agreed on a cross-Europe emergency services number, 112, the EU was shocked to discover that hardly anyone in Europe knew it, and so declared yesterday, February 11, to be "European 112 Day". Reg readers, being a distinctly Europhile crowd, were out in force celebrating the day in suitable fashion by summoning the …


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  1. JMB

    What did you do on Emergency Services day?

    How many million pounds was spent on increasing awareness from 22% to 24%?

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    112 day on 11th February?

    I'd love to own 211 and laugh at all the Americans trying to get to hospital.

  3. Jimmy Floyd

    The ostrich of Europe

    24% of EU citizens may be aware of 112 - but only 7.8% of British subjects as we continue our policy of denying these islands are in any way part of a wider continent (and especially Europe!).

  4. Wortel

    Well gee

    Maybe if you advertised it out in the open for everybody to see and hear, you know, like.. on tv and radio? then we might have known mister and missus EU. Then you might have had a valid reason to be shocked had you done so.

    I read this today, on the 12th. Till now I assumed that 112 was restricted to The Netherlands, as the previous emergency number 0611 was back in it's limited days (or was that EU wide too? If so again the advertising failed).

    This goes for changes in common, criminal and traffic laws as well. Rarely do you hear something about it on public news channels, and when you do the information is either incomplete, inaccurate, obsolete, or all of the above.

  5. Jeremy

    I can see it now...

    Speaking to the emergency services in their native tongue? I can see how that will work in Britain:

    Non-English speaking caller dials 112, in a panic because their arse is on fire.

    112> To continue in English, press 1.

    112> Če želite nadaljevati v Slovenskem, pritisnite 2.

    112> Pour continuer en français, appuyez sur 3.

    112> Om verder te gaan in het Nederlands, op 4.

    Followed by a dozen other European languages before they finally get to their own.

    112> Ring Ring

    112> Ring Ring

    112> "Your call is important to us and will be answered very shortly"

    112> Vivaldi's Four Seasons

    112> "All of our operators are busy right now. Please hold, your call will be answered shortly."

    112> Greensleaves

    112> Ring Ring

    112> "Hullo? Hullo? Romanian? Nah, sorry mate, Bob usually does the Romanian translation and he's on his lunch right now. Can you call back in 15 minutes?"

    By which time the caller is dead and therefore no longer considered to be an emergency. In line with protocol, the operator requests that the they please use the new pan-European non-emergency number, whatever the hell that is, to obtain assistance.

    Yeah, I'm sure we do multi-lingual emergency calls very well indeed...

  6. Tim Spence


    Yeah, great, everyone knows about 112. Terrific.

    What about having another go at making a national NON-emergency number - and actually making it national? I'm looking at you 101. We've got your number. And it only works in about 3% of the UK.

    If I'm out on a drive anywhere outside my local town, and spot something (non-emergency) which the five-oh need telling about, who do I call? No, not the A-Team, or Ghostbusters. I've no idea what number I call, and I'm sure as hell not calling £1 per enquiry directory enquiries just to report suspicious activity, or a drunk wandering across the road or whatever. So it all goes unreported.

  7. Paul

    On Emergence day...

    ...I threw grenades into holes and killed Locust scum!

  8. Tanuki
    Black Helicopters

    Dial 2222 !

    Round here, 2222 is the number you call for any emergency - whether it's cardiac arrest, chip-pan fire, someone trying to break in, an incident of personal violence or an aircraft-crash (though the latter tend to be self-announcing).

    Black Helicopters: they're definitely not Air-Sea Rescue!

  9. Tawakalna

    Yoorophilia what?

    "Reg readers, being a distinctly Europhile crowd..."

    Speak for yourself. As far as some of us are concerned, Europe is just a nice place to go for holidays, with a wide selection of interesting wines and cheeses, regardless of what we were conned into in 1973.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Beat the masses into line

    Easy, just charge £1.50 per minute for 999 calls whilst 112 remains free.

    It may recieve some negative publicity for being 'a tax on the injured' but who cares, over time it'll get everyone onto the right number within five years.

    In fact, what about having a default charge of £50 to dial 999, taken from your mobile phone credit or added to your BT bill, which can be dropped if the operator decides it's a worthwhile call?

    That way, all the fools who dial 999 to report that they were trying to peel a banana but the stem snapped off and now they can't get enough purchase on the skin to carry on peeling without bruising the banana will soon find themselves and their money parted.

  11. TeeCee Gold badge

    Bloody hell!

    I appear to be part of a majority for once and quite a large one too.

    This feels.......weird.

  12. Jeff
    Thumb Up

    Just like 01189998819991197253! knows about 112, and no-one knew about 112 day... .bloody marketing coup there...

  13. Paul


    I think not!! The only reason that the 112 number is of any benefit to us Brits is because being forced to use it meant that they also had to include a mobile phone locating system into the network.

  14. beast666
    Thumb Down

    The dibble

    I've had to phone the police on several occasions due to idiots riding their mini-bikes, sometimes half a dozen of them along the pavements where I live with mums with prams, toddlers etc... Not an emergency, although alarming! Won't phone 999 (or 112 whatever) cos you get in deep shit, so tried to phone the local cop-shop after googling for number. Guess what? Its not open at weekends or after 5pm! I gave up, and the scrotes get away scot free...

    Thought about ringing Crimestoppers, but whats that number? I was only trying to help out... you should be able to ring 999 for any shit and not expect a visit by the dibble why you rang,,, /rant

  15. Joe K

    screw that shit

    Its Darwin Day:

    Surprised you guys haven't mentioned it yet.

  16. Nev Silver badge

    Funny how "Europe" in a title brings out the headless chicken brigade...

    .... "arg! They've banned our "999" !!!!!"

    Obviously they need a bit more publicity as even some on here have misunderstood that although all the countries can now use 112 as the emergency number, it doesn't mean there is a central pan-European emergency call centre redirecting calls based on where you are/what language you speak.

    112 has been around for years on GSM networks anyway.

    Where's the "Oh FFS!" icon?

  17. Yorkshirepudding

    i suggest:

    "Hello, and welcome to the Springfield Police Department "Rescue Phone"! If you know the name of the felony being committed, press 1. To choose from a list of felonies, press 2. If you are being murdered, or are calling from a rotary phone, please stay on the line.(Bart presses four numbers on the phone) You have chosen- "regicide!" If you know the name of the King or Queen being murdered, press 1"

  18. pctechxp


    Someone beat me to the 0118999881999119725....3 joke.

  19. blackworx
    Paris Hilton

    Oh dear

    I work for the emergency services and until today I'd never heard of it. Says it all really.

  20. Sooty

    chances are

    the majority of people think we use the American 911 in the UK anyway. it's in films, tv shows and adverts constantly. you'd be far better off telling people what the emergency number in this country is, 999 in case you didn't know, and what it should and shouldn't be used for, as well as the non-emergency* alternatives.

    i'm sure if you work in an office building and have an emergency, you'll happily dial 9112 instead of the incredibly inconvenient 9999

    *just because it's not an emergency, doesn't always mean it isn't distressing to the person.

  21. Dave

    Who's used 112?

    I used it once when it was necessary to call the police, mainly to see if there was any difference to calling 999. As far as I could tell there was no difference. Had I been using an old rotary dial phone then it would have been a bit faster.

  22. Paul

    Am I being a typical American or...

    Doesn't it seem like they should have just used 911? I'm guessing that due to Hollywood it's the most recognized emergency number around. Or use the UK's 999, which I understand was the first such number.

    Considering it's kind of important that people remember it in an emergency and all... why complicate things by inventing a whole new number?

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    And how many can...

    ...actually name the member states? Sure I can't.

    Paris, for obvious reasons

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Fond Memories

    When I worked for a large Japanese finance company, there were a large number of "hoax" emergancy calls. It took the IT department two months to discover that extension 8112 was being misdialled as 9(outside line)112.

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The reason we don't use 911

    Is not only because the country code for India is 91. Imagine the number of muppets in the US who are trying to dial India and neglect to dial whatever the international code is, and then follow that with 911.

    And actually, 112 has been in the UK since about 1992, and yes I did know about it then cos I don't read the Daily Mail.

    I think in Switzerland there are three different numbers, one for each emergency service, and they even have a number to call when you've been poisoned.

  26. Buzzby
    IT Angle

    non emergency old bill calls

    Over ere in east angle land we have a number 0845 456 456 4 so as to ave a chat with the sweedy ( old bill ) on a less emergency basis.

    Code 112 has been in place for many years. I helped set it up and of course thoroughly tested it before service use.

  27. Chris Savage

    @Paul & Why 112?

    >Or use the UK's 999, which I understand was the first such number.

    999 isn't compatible with mobile phones. I read this ages ago, so forgive me if I'm mistaken, but the whole reason for bringing out 112 is because all mobile phones (I believe by law) must be able to call the emergency services while the keypad is locked, if there's an emergency and someone throws you their crazy phone with full on QWERTY keyboard flapping in your face, whats one to do? Find the user's manual?

    Unfortunately, 999 is easily pressed in your pocket, being the same digit, on the edge of the keypad, if your constantly carrying stuff, it's easy to dial 999. 112 is less likely to result in accidental trouser rubbing emergency calls.

    Although I'm quite shocked this in the news now, my old Windows Mobile 2003 phone has 112 support, and my newer iPaq 514 only allows 911 and 112 while the keypad is locked, not 999, so you'd get a shock if I threw you my phone in an emergency, not that it's particularly hard to unlock the keypad on it.

  28. elderlybloke

    NZ has 111

    for emergency , police, fire, ambulance .

    Gets answered in some call centre hundreds of miles away and they can't understand the names of local streets or country roads.

    Like Whakaangiangi Road or Waiomatatini Road.

    When I need the coppers I ring the local Station, get a much faster response ,

    We do seem to have it easy, compared with whatever system you are supposed to use.

    How often do you get through to the emergency service you need ?

  29. Oliver Mayes

    @everyone else referencing the IT crowd

    Isn't it a little weird that I'd never even hear of this new emergency number until reading this, but can recite 0118 999 88199 9119 725 3 without hesitation (yes I did sing the little jingle in my head while typing that). Maybe the EU needs to consult the shows producers for tips.

  30. Edward Miles

    I learnt it...

    Because my first mobile phone (a trium mars) would only dial that number whilst locked. Earned mey a fair few points at Pub Quizzes over the years has that! However it's not ingrained, the one time I've had to call the emergancy services ('cos my diabetic mate had gone into hypoglycaemic shock) I went straight for the nines which thanks to the fact I had a shiny new phone, worked straight off :)

  31. Jon

    911 (Aparently numbers are not a title)

    I heard that 911 actually is connected to 999 in this country now due to all the kids that only watch american tripe on tv. Aparently they asked a bunch of school kids the emergency number and the majority said 911 not even 999.

    I was also told on a first aid course that 112 activates "satalite technology" in your mobile phone to get a gps location for you and give coverage anywhere. Since the main thing on a FAW course nowadays is how to call an ambulance you'd think they'd get it right. It just allows them to triangulate your position from a mobile masts and connect to any TERESTRIAL network. It doesn't magically fit you 5110 with a GPS reciever or iridium technology.

  32. Cian

    999 works on my Nokia E51

    if my phone is locked, dialling either 112, 999 or 911 will unlock it and make a call

  33. BioTube

    Standards, people

    911, 999, 119, can't we all just agree? How about 1-800-OMIGODIMGONNADIE?

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