Estonia makes pan-European 112 its single emergency number
It's the European 112 Day today and to mark the occasion, Estonia is reverting to the usage of a single emergency number, scrapping the separate 110 for police.
From today onward, people can call 112 for the ambulance and the rescue services, as well as the police. Those in need of only the police can, for the time being, still dial 110, but they will be automatically redirected to a joint 112 call center. The 110 will, however, be out of use after the transitional period is over.
112 is the EU's emergency services number. Calls are free for all. Estonia is the ninth country to make it the only emergency number in use.
"One number is easier to remember and in cases of car accidents, for example, it removes the need to decide who to call first. In terms of saving lives and solving incidents, it's most important that all parties share a common information space. When we get a call about a serious accident, all forces can set out at the same time and make it to the scene faster," said Marti Magnus, head of the Police and Border Guard Board Readiness and Response Office.
The European 112 Day was officially established in 2009 and aims to raise people's awareness about safety and security. According to the organizers, only one out of four Europeans recognizes 112 as the European emergency number available in all member states.
To learn more about the European emergency number visit the 112 Foundation website here.