The European Parliament says member states should publicise the 112 emergency number in doctors’ surgeries, pharmacies, schools, universities, airports and railway stations. A survey published earlier this year found that only 26% of EU citizens could spontaneously identify 112 as the number to call in an emergency abroad.
In a non-legislative resolution passed today, the EU’s parliament said raising public awareness of EU emergency phone number could save lives this summer.
Sylvana Rapti, the MEP who drafted the report, said “Now when it is summer and people have holidays there is a great deal of security attached to this number which means that people can solve their problems no matter where they are.”
The report calls on the European Commission to significantly improve the location of 112 callers, with the aim of automatically locating anyone who dials the 112 number. It also stresses the need for interpretation services to help foreign visitors and disabled people.
The EU emergency number of 112 was established in 1991 as an additional emergency number to help Europeans travelling abroad in the EU. It works in parallel with the long-established 999 number in the UK and Ireland.
Calling 112 is free of charge from fixed and mobile phones anywhere in the EU.