Every year on 11 February, the European Union places its Single European Emergency Number ‘112’ in the spotlight. Since 1991, thanks to EU legislation people in distress can call the 112 emergency number from anywhere in the EU and free of charge.
A report published on the day shows that calls in the EU to the ‘112’ reached 158 million last year representing more than half of all the emergency calls. More than 2 million calls were placed by Europeans using roaming services while travelling in other EU countries.
The use of the Single European Emergency number 112 increases every year and several Member States have improved their caller location systems.
Commissioner for the Internal Market, Thierry Breton, stated: “112 is a life-saving number for any European faced with an emergency situation. As the quick location of a victim is critical, caller location information for 112 must be made available to the authority handling emergency calls without delay. New EU telecom ruleswill significantly improve caller location accuracy from December 2020. We stand ready to help national authorities and the civil society, who must treat this issue as a priority and do their utmost to prevent any loss of life in the future.”
The report also highlights how Member States ensure that people with disabilities can easily contact emergency services.
Thanks to the European Accessibility Act the 112 number can be contacted through the means of interactive text, chat or a video conference.