Medical Emergency Numbers in Germany

24 posts in this topic

In typical German fashion, it seems that even the emergency service numbers are complicated... (I'm hoping that, like other systems here, it is very sensible, once you understand it!). But, perhaps someone can present it in a nice, dumbed down way for me...

 

Let me get this straight - medical emergencies, call 112? If it is an emergency with a child, is it still 112? Or is it one of the various other numbers (ie., 19222? Or, another that I found for Regensburg was 01805/191212). It seems like there are different variants on these numbers, depending where you live, but are these just for non-emergencies?

 

Essentially, what I want to know is, if one of my children stops breathing, who ya gonna call? And, would this person be likely to speak English (seems a relevant question, given the forum)? (I have often wondered this - if you are in a foreign country, and you don't speak the language, is anyone going to be able to help you in an emergency - such are the deep, existential questions that run through my mind...). If you say "ambulance" will this be understood, or should one be brushing up on medical emergency phrases such as Mein Kind atmet nicht?

 

Anyway, I know that this question has had some attention in the past, but given the story in a previous thread about someone calling 112 with a child who was having trouble breathing and not receiving help, I wondered if there was another number one should be calling in preference. Maybe we could have such information in one of those nifty little guides that appear at the top of the page when one does a search?

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I called 112, and no they did not speak english with me, but understood my Denglish enough to get an ambulance to our house.

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Yup, medical emergency or fire, ring 112. If you need the police, dial 110. I would imagine that they would understand the word "ambulance" or "doctor", but obviously the more information you can give them before they get there, the better prepared they will be and the more the person on the telephone can help you in the meantime, by telling you what to do while you wait, for example. Bearing in mind that if your child has a serious accident, you are most likely to be a total wreck, it might be an idea to make a list of ailments and other relevant sentences that you keep near the phone, so that you can read them off if ever you need them.

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Thanks folks. So when do you ever use any of those other numbers (e.g., 19222)?

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We use that number to find out who is the oncall weekend doctors or dentists ect. Non emergencies as far as I can recall :)

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Just to be clear - 112 is the unified number to call for any emergency, anywhere in Europe including Switzerland (and a few other countries too). It's free to call this number from any landline or mobile phone, even when roaming. Some countries have additional, different numbers (e.g. 999 in UK) or additional numbers for individual services (e.g. 110 for the Police in Germany), but calling 112 from anywhere in Europe should get you to a local service which will efficiently direct your call according to the emergency to hand.

 

It used to be the case that you didn't even need an active SIM in your mobile to reach this number, but that changed on 2009 following excessive abuse.

 

It seems that 5% of the people in Europe are not aware of this unified number. At least folks in Toytown (should) know it now.

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Very helpful post, YorkshireLad - I'm sure it will be very informative for others too. So if you call 112, do they ask if you want the fire service, police, or an ambulance, as in NZ?

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No. They often ask you for your inside leg measurement and the weather situation just in case these might be relevant to the e m e r g e n c y you are reporting and they might need to send an umbrella and/or tailor to assist.

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So if you call 112, do they ask if you want the fire service, police, or an ambulance, as in NZ?

 

Only on occasion will they ask directly. They like to make things a little more interesting so they usually prefer to try to guess what the emergency is. You're not allowed tell them unless they get it wrong three times.

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Alright, alright, stupid question - I guess what I was getting at is, is it a transfer centre you are calling? (I am just trying to reconcile this with other posters on other threads being told that 112 is the wrong number for medical emergencies, or something like that). On re-reading my question above, I also can't really see what I was asking, and think I sound about as ditzy as you both did :lol:

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(I am just trying to reconcile this with other posters on other threads being told that 112 is the wrong number for medical emergencies, or something like that).

 

Oh dear - 112 is the CORRECT number for medical emergencies.

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Gen, these couple of posts left me wondering which number does what...

 

 

my daughter this evening her stomach tube was bleeding, and i needed to call the eqivalant of 999! i ran 112 which was aparently the fire brigde!

 

 

 

Last night, we had a real emergency at home---3 year old son needed urgent care. He had complained since kindergarten that his throat was hurting, but all of a sudden he presented with labouring to breathe, turning red, heat racing, appearing to pass out--all with a terrible look of fear in his eyes. I called 112----and while I am trying to explain to the person on the phone--it was fairly clear that this person could not be asked to help and did not want to. I have never had to call emergency before, but I thought if a small child cannot breathe that constituted an emergency. I must be mistaken.

 

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They seem to get the point no matter what.

 

I was here a few months months when I called and all I could say was Asthma, Notfall, krankenwagen and my address.

 

They came less then 10 minutes later with a notarzt.

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I don't know how much clearer I can make this.

 

112 is the correct and only number for:

 

a n y e m e r g e n c y

 

You need to decide what consitututes an "emergency" and the call centre will evaluate it, decide how to deal with it, and who to send. Their response is not limited to Police, Fire and Ambulance, but could include First Responder (usually allied to the Fire Service), Notarzt (emergency doctor), Wasserwacht (Lifeguards) or THW (Technisches Hilfswerk - technical response team) example.

 

You can call the myriad of other numbers that are available for more specific services, but it's always recommended to use 112 throughout Europe to get the best response across all available services, and of course it means you only ever need to know that one number, wherever you are.

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On those other threads, the confused posters were given the correct information (that 112 is the emergency number), just as YL6 puts it above -- though without the red and bold.

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Alright, alright, stupid question - I guess what I was getting at is, is it a transfer centre you are calling? (I am just trying to reconcile this with other posters on other threads being told that 112 is the wrong number for medical emergencies, or something like that). On re-reading my question above, I also can't really see what I was asking, and think I sound about as ditzy as you both did :lol:

 

 

It would depend on the country. The point is having a unified number across Europe despite the fact that emergency services are organised differently from country to country (or even in different places in the same country).

 

For example, in France, depending on the area, 112 calls are handled either by the SAMU (medical emergencies service) or by the CTA (fire service) and they contact the other organisation or the police if they can't deal with your emergency. A few département have a common centre answering both the 112 and the older numbers for all emergency services, in the rest of France they are handled by separate but interconnected centres. In rural areas, fire brigades have ambulances and respond to many medical emergencies as well.

 

I am not sure but I think that in Germany the Feuerwehr traditionally received all calls to 112 and dispatched other services (police, ambulance…) as needed but there are some exceptions and a trend towards integrated response centres (Integrierten Feuerwehr- und Rettungsleitstellen) coordinating all emergency services from one location. In any case, no matter where your call actually lands, they shouldn't bounce you if you have a genuine emergency (maybe the other posters' issues was not judged serious enough by the dispatcher?)

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About the language situation: There is an international consortium monitoring the implementation the 112 emergency number (http://www.eena.org/view/en/About112/112functioning.html) and, based on reports from the countries themselves, it seems that most European countries should be able to handle calls in English. However, France, Austria, Slovakia and most importantly for this forum Germany “indicated that English may not be available in all cases in all PSAPs” (Public-safety answering point).

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No. They often ask you for your inside leg measurement and the weather situation just in case these might be relevant the e m e r g e n c y you are reporting and they might need to send an umbrella and/or tailor to assist.
:lol::lol: is there any option to give a block of a hundred greens to one post? :)
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