Emergency Phone Numbers should be stored on your Phone
You may have heard recently about the school teacher Gary Clarke who came up with an idea to attach messages of hope to the Foyle Bridge in Derry for people struggling with mental illness. The idea was inspired by a similar project at Preston Docks and I note that at least one of those messages contained an emergency contact phone number. It struck me that it may be possible to prevent a poor outcome if there is minimal delay in contacting emergency services. But, do we know what telephone number we should call in each situation?
Most of us carry a mobile phone, but do we store emergency telephone numbers on our phones? Are we even confident about the services available for crisis situations? Do you know the difference between 101 and 999? Are you aware of when you can use 112 and 18000 and what about the value of ICE on your phone?
I thought I’d do some research around the topic and pull together telephone numbers that may be helpful to store in your phone, at home and at the office. Some of the telephone numbers are contacts in Northern Ireland but the list can be adapted for your personal use. Initially I looked at the Police, Fire and Ambulance contact telephone numbers:
Which Phone Number Should You Use?
Calls to 999 are free and can be dialled from a locked mobile phone. Note the important word ‘EMERGENCY’. In the past we always used the 999 number when we needed to summon help but now 101 is available if urgent attention is not required.
This will help to prevent blocking the 999 line unnecessarily, so it is always available for emergency calls. Whenever possible try to raise awareness of the 18000 number for texting in emergency. This is particularly important for those who have a hearing impairment. Check it out on the link below:
The confusion around which number to use increases when we travel, and this is particularly relevant in Northern Ireland around border areas. In this situation if you are unable to dial 101 on your phone or you are roaming, then the number to use is +4428 9065 0222.
112 is another emergency telephone number and works the same as 999. The important thing about 112 is that it will work on a mobile phone anywhere in the world. The calls are free and can also be dialled from a locked mobile phone. In the UK 112 also works on landline phones. Incidentally, a European Union (EU) requirement is that emergency call centres must provide a translations service.
111 is the non-emergency medical phone number. This is available nationwide and is particularly useful when you are looking for medical help when everywhere seems closed or busy. Calls are free to this number.
ICE – In Case of Emergency
Finally, ‘In Case of Emergency (ICE)’ was set up by a former paramedic and has now received worldwide recognition. By adding ‘ICE’ on your mobile phone it potentially allows attending paramedics, police, firefighters and hospital personnel to identify and treat you. Following this they can contact your next of kin immediately. The ICE concept has carried criticism for a few reasons, so some would recommend that it shouldn’t be relied on as a primary means of identification. Nevertheless, it is an excellent addition to have on your mobile phone and would be a great backup to other forms of ID.
Check it out on: