Issue: Emergency number 112

This issue contains 2 sections.

How does 112 work?

When somebody calls 112 from a land line, the call is received by the 112 emergency call centre in the caller’s area. Calls from mobile phones are connected to the call centre of the Dutch Police Services Agency (KLPD) in Driebergen.

Which service do you require?

Explain what has happened, where assistance is needed and which emergency service you think is required: the police, the fire brigade or the ambulance service. The emergency operator will put you straight through to the appropriate emergency service in your area.

Call recording

The 112 emergency call centre records all calls so that emergency operators can play them back, for example when they aren’t able to take in all the information during the initial conversation.

Caller ID

The caller’s telephone number automatically appears on the emergency operator’s computer screen, even if the number is unlisted. This is so that the emergency operator can call back, for example if the connection is poor or if the caller hangs up in a panic. In addition, caller ID prevents abuse of 112, for example in the form of prank calls.

Mobile phones

When a person calls 112 using a mobile phone, their number is relayed to the emergency operator via the mobile phone mast to which the phone connects. The call is received by the call centre of the Dutch Police Services Agency (KLPD) in Driebergen. The emergency operator connects the caller to the local emergency services and informs them where the victim is located. This is important, because the victim may no longer be able to speak due to his or her injuries.

Calls outside the Netherlands

If you call 112 outside the Netherlands, the call is connected to the nearest emergency call centre. In the border region between the Netherlands, Germany and Belgium, your call may end up in a different country than the one you are calling from. For example, you could ring the number in the Netherlands but be connected to a German or Belgian emergency call centre, because the mobile networks of these countries extend across the border into the Netherlands. You can tell this from the name of the service provider displayed on the screen of your phone.

Open water

The emergency number 112 works on water just as it does on land. However, mobile network coverage is not optimal over large expanses of water such as the IJsselmeer or the Waddenzee. On lakes or at sea, it is therefore better to use a marine telephone or satellite phone.

Persons with speech or hearing impairments

If you have a speech or hearing impairment, call 0800-8112 for urgent assistance. For non-urgent assistance, call 0900-1844.

Emergency number 0800-8112

The emergency number 0800-8112 is a toll-free number. It can be reached using a textphone, which allows you to contact the emergency call centre by typing a message. This message is sent to the emergency call centre over the phone line, and displayed on an emergency operator’s computer screen.

State clearly in your message:

  • where you are
  • where the assistance is needed
  • which emergency service you require: police, fire brigade or ambulance service.

The operator will then immediately send help.

European Real-Time Text experiment

In May 2011, the Dutch Police Services Agency (KLPD) launched the Real-Time Text (RTT) pilot for people with communication impairments. Several emergency services will participate in the second part of this pilot. The pilot will last for one year, after which 112 will be permanently accessible through real-time texting. This trial is part of a European project in which five countries are testing various new means of communication.

The Netherlands is trialling real-time texting. Existing textphones can only call 112 over a land line. People with hearing impairments who wish to use this system can usually reclaim the cost of a textphone from their health insurance company.

Based on the results of the various trials, the European Commission will impose certain obligations on all countries regarding disabled access to 112.