Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson has urged anyone travelling in Europe to familiarize themselves with the EU-wide 112 Emergency number.
Ms Anderson said:
“Every year we hear of holidaymakers finding themselves in emergency situations while vacationing in Europe.
“As we enter that time of year when people are considering holiday destinations I would urge everyone to familiarize themselves with the EU-wide 112 Emergency services number.
“The 112 number was first initiated in 2009 but surveys indicate that less than 30% of Irish people are aware of its existence.
“It can be a terrifying experience to find yourself in a foreign environment trying to deal with an emergency concerning yourself or a loved one and unaware of the quickest way to contact emergency services.
“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 you dial 112, a specially trained operator will answer the call. Depending on the circumstances and emergency services required, the operator will either deal with the request directly or transfer the call to the most appropriate emergency service.
“If you do not know your exact location, the operator will physical identify where the call originates and pass it to the appropriate emergency services so that help can be dispatched immediately.
“The 112 number is also used in some countries outside the EU – such as Switzerland and South Africa – and is available worldwide on GSM mobile networks.
“I urge anyone intending to travel anywhere in Europe to familiarize themselves with the 112 emergency services number – it could save lives.” CRÍOCH/END