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112: The number that can save your life
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Published on 11-02-10

Data released on the European 112 Day shows that people in the UK remain among the Europeans who are least likely to recognise 112 as the pan-European emergency number. It has been operational across the EU since December 2008. But only 10% of UK citizens know they can dial it to contact the police, the fire brigade or the medical services at home or when travelling in the EU. Together with Greece and Italy this is the lowest awareness level among the 27 member states.

"A single European emergency number only helps if people know about it. On European 112 Day, I call on national authorities to step up and do more to inform their citizens about 112, a number that can save lives", said Digital Agenda Commissioner, Neelie Kroes.

    "Even if 999 is the national emergency number, the 112 number is important for the many Brits who travel to other parts of the EU every year. They need to know that wherever they go, they can dial the same number to get help. And it's free of charge from both fixed and mobile phones", added Sarah Lambert, Head of the European Commission Representation in the UK.

    In 2009 EU rules and initiatives improved access to information about the location of the caller. Thanks to technologies like "push" or "pull" location systems, call centres in 20 EU countries now give emergency services this vital information almost instantly. Although many citizens face language problems while calling 112 abroad, member states say their emergency centres can handle 112 calls at least in English.

    How the 112 works in the UK: >>>

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    Last update: 30/10/2010  |Top