Wherever you may chose to go on holiday there is always the issue of security and safety and as much as most places can be, and are safe, there is always the issue of someone getting pick pocketed and thieves, especially during specific times such as summer where many tourists can be found in many major cities.
And even if you take the precautions to being safe while on holiday in Paris, or any other city throughout Europe, the unforeseen can always happen, where being able to easily access and use the Emergency number can always provide help of any kind.
But even if you are not the one in immediate danger, some quick thinking to make a call can save someone’s life when it’s needed most, and for this reason it is why the number is being implemented in not only France but the European Union and even more countries around the world.
112 – The number to remember.
The number is now the emergency number throughout all of Europe, accessible from any mobile, payphone or landline.
The emergency number 112, will get you through to any service you need, such as the fire brigade, police, ambulance etc. But there are also protocols in place to be able to deal with numerous different languages so you do not have to worry if you are in a foreign country about any language barriers or concerns.
Additionally you can still access the emergency services if you are out of credit or the phone is blocked, meaning when needed, you can still get help.
Although the 112 number is recognised within the European Union not many people realise it is currently in use, yet has been active and working since the start of the 1990’s, and having many updates and additions since to help out, such as in 2002 and in 2009. And some phones when purchased now have the number stored automatically instead of only the country-purchased emergency number, which a couple examples of that would be 911 for the United States or 999 for United Kingdom.
And the majority of countries within the European Union allow you to also dial the number from a landline or pay phone, but additionally from 2012 any hand held phones will automatically receive a text when entering another country, informing them of the emergency number to use.
Over the years many campaigns have been run and held to get the word out about the number and to raise awareness, even if many do not remember it or even knew it existed. But as always, it is good to do your best to remember the number as it is a great access to any help within any country of the EU while you are on holiday or just passing through.
Also as from 2009, just some of the improvements made include being able to track where the phone calls are coming from, so that they can easily find where you are in an emergency and get help or assistance to you as soon as possible, along with additional improvements to those with disabilities such as for those who are hearing impaired.
The idea of the emergency number 112 was to make it universal worldwide so that no matter what type of issue that arises and you need help, if you are a tourist or resident, that help can be accessed by one all purpose phone number. And although it is not yet implemented everywhere there are some places which either use or recognise it.
As said some countries even outside of the EU have adopted the number such as Switzerland and South Africa, and some countries within the EU now use the number as the default emergency number throughout the country such as Sweden, Denmark, Portugal, Romania and the Netherlands.
Although for some countries there still exists the normal emergency number as the default number to call, with the 112 being a secondary number, like the United Kingdom still uses 999.
In fact if you were to dial 112 while in the United States, Canada, Hong Kong and many other places it will still be understood, and then be transferred to the country’s main emergency number.
Although as always it is always worth checking what emergency number is being used in a country before you visit it for a holiday and not to just rely on the 112 number, as some countries have different numbers on top of 112. Such as 110 for the fire brigade in Norway and 166 for any type of medical assistance while in Greece.
So even if this number is not already on your phone or one you knew of, make a note of it before your holiday, as even if it is not you that needs the emergency services, you may well help someone else or even save a life, as it also works for lifeguards, mountain rescue and much more.