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112 vs 911

dial 911

Last week I got an email forward about dialing 112, a new emergency number that is supposedly better than 911. The reasons why were vague so I did a quick search and found that 112 is the emergency number for the European Union. “Ahh.” I think to myself, “Whoever wrote this was confused.” I pick up my iPhone, and flippantly punch 1-1-2-CALL. A second later I’m desperately smashing the power button as I see EMERGENCY CALL flash across my screen… And suddenly I’m haunted by stories from my childhood, of kids dialing 911 and having the cops show up at their doorsteps.

Needless to say, the cops have better things to do than hunt down mistaken emergency calls, so I’m writing this a free man. But I obviously hadn’t been thorough enough in my research, so I hit up Wikipedia. It’s true that 112 is the EU’s version of 911, but it just so happens that all GSM cell phones – of which mine is one – redirect 112 directly to 911. So although you can use it in an emergency, it’s not worth remembering unless you live in, or are planning a trip to Europe.

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