112 is the European emergency phone number, available everywhere in the EU, free of charge.
It is possible to call 112 from fixed and mobile phones to contact any emergency service: an ambulance, the fire brigade or the police.
When a person dials 112, a specially trained operator will answer the call. Depending on the national organisation of emergency services, the operator will either deal with the request directly or transfer the call to the most appropriate emergency service.
Operators in many countries can answer the calls not only in their national language, but also in English or French. If the caller does not know where he is, the operator will identify where the person making the call is physically located and will pass it to the emergency authorities so that these can help immediately.
112 operators do not provide traffic and weather reports, general information or answers to queries.
Calling 112 as a joke or calling and then hanging up is considered a hoax call. Hoax calls not only waste the time and money of the emergency operators, but can also be dangerous. If 112 lines or call operators are busy with hoax calls, someone with a real emergency may not be able to get the help needed. In most countries, it is a criminal offence to make hoax 112 calls and a person can be judged for that.
112 doesn’t replace the existing national emergency numbers. In most countries, it operates alongside them. In Greece, alongside 112 the following emergency numbers are available:
- 100 – Police,
- 199 – Fire brigade,
- 166 – Emergency medical service,
- 108 – Coast guard,
- 197 – Emergency social assistance,
There is no specific help for disabled people.
It is possible to call 112 even without a SIM card.
112 calls are answered on average within 9 seconds.
In addition to Greek, the calls are answered in English and French.