Calling all Travellers: Would you know who to ring for help?

Calling all Travellers: Would you know who to ring for help?

Whilst an undeniably amazing experience; travelling often doesn’t come without its risks. As an adventurous bunch, most of us like to venture off the beaten track, get up close and personal to local people or wildlife and push the boundaries when it comes to our chosen activities. However, experiences like this can sometimes come at a price and every once in a while, you may find yourself in need of a little help.

The nature of accidents is that they can happen at anytime, anywhere; whether at home or abroad. But if you were involved in, or witnessed an accident, saw a fire or spotted a burglary, would you know which emergency number to call?

Those of us who live in the UK know that in an emergency you can dial 999 to get through to the police, ambulance service or fire brigade. But what about outside the Great British borders?

This Saturday (11th February) marks ‘112 Day’, created to raise awareness of the European single number for emergencies. The equivalent of 999, the number 112 has been operational for many years, yet its existence is still not widely known. In fact, only 26% of EU citizens have even heard of it, with the UK having one of the lowest awareness levels of 112, at just 13%.

Available free of charge from fixed and mobile phones – you can use 112 to contact any emergency service in any EU country (including the UK!) The number works alongside any existing national emergency numbers with the great thing about it being that you don’t have to learn or bring a huge list of telephone numbers with you when you travel.

So what happens when you dial 112?

You’ll get through to a specially trained operator who will either deal with your request directly or patch you through to the most appropriate emergency service for the situation. They will ask you for your name, address and telephone number as well as a description of the problem at hand so try to be as clear as possible.

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What sort of thing can you call 112 for?

– Report a burglary or any other crime

– To request an ambulance

– To call out the fire brigade

– To Ask for mountain rescue

– To call a coastguard

What can’t you call 112 for?

As with all emergency numbers, misuse can cost lives, so don’t use 112 to get weather reports; traffic reports; to ask questions or for general queries about your travels.

What about the rest of the world?

Nowadays the EU is a pretty big place, but guess what, the world is even bigger! Despite many non-EU countries (such as Switzerland and the USA which redirects 112 to 911) also adopting the 112 as an alternative emergency number, there are still some countries around the world which haven’t.

We’ve created a handy reference for those of you planning a trip to a non-EU country. Here is a list of all the emergency numbers you will hopefully never need:


Canada 911
El Salvador 911
Mexico 911
USA 911
Argentina 101
Brazil 190
Cuba 116
Chile 133
Jamaica 119
Singapore 999

Australasia / Pacific / Asia
Australia 000
New Zealand 111
Philippines 117
Japan 110
China 110
Hong Kong 999
Malaysia 999
Thailand 191
India 100

Middle East / UAE
Saudi Arabia 999
Israel 100
Jordan 191/192

Algeria 17
Kenya 999
Ghana 191

Other Emergency Numbers

Barbados: 211 | 311 | 511 (Police,Fire,Ambulance)
Egypt: 122 | 180 | 123 (Police, Fire, Ambulance)
Indonesia: 110 | 112 | 118/119 (Police, Fire, Ambulance)
Vietnam: 113 | 114 |115 (Police, Fire, Ambulance)
Tunisia: 197 | 198 |190 (Police, Fire, Ambulance)
South Korea: 110 | 119 (Police, Fire and Ambulance)
Taiwan: 110 | 119 (Police, Fire and Ambulance)
South Africa: 10111 (Police / Fire) | 10177 (Ambulance)

Click here to print this list as a PDF.
* N.B. This is not an exhaustive list…but it’s a good start!

Have you ever needed to call any of these numbers whilst travelling? What are your experiences of these services? Share your emergency stories with us below…


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