Know your Emergency Response Numbers

As I was driving through New Zealand today, I observed a motor accident where a guy drove off the road. There were other New Zealand witnesses who immediately called the police and ambulances who responded very efficiently. It crossed my mind if a foreign tourist had been the witness, would they have known the numbers to call? It is 111 in New Zealand.

I remember a news report about an Englishman who died in Australia. He had been alone when he had had a heart attack. The police found he had been repeatedly dialing 999, the UK code instead of 000, the Australian code.

In many parts of the world, people believe the emergency phone number is 911, the North American response number.

112 has become standard in many parts of the world but not everywhere.

I encourage people to know the emergency service number of the country they are going to before travel. Write the numbers down and have them in your purse/wallet and /or programmed into your phone. When in a crisis situation, you may not be able to count on your memory to work!


This interactive image of the main codes by country from Chartsbin will help as will this US State Department list. Note that in some places, one number gets you access to all three services and in others you give to dial a different number for police or ambulance or fire.


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