It is important to know the right telephone numbers to call when you run into an emergency in Germany. I hope you never have to use any of them. However, before you find yourself in a situation where you want to call an emergency number these are the numbers you need to have on speed dial.
The most important emergency numbers to remember in Germany are 112 and 110.
Fire service & Ambulance: 112
When to call 112
112 should be the default emergeny number for accidents, fire and acute medical problems such as
- Heart attacks
- Acute Pains
- Acute respiratory problems
- Loss of consciousness
Do not call 112 for a mild headache. Though not allowed, you may get help. But your health insurance will not pay for ordering an ambulance to take you to the hospital for that. Get into a taxi and go to the emergency room if you feel like you can.
The 112 number is a Europe-wide emergency number. This means you will need to remember this number for your entire stay in Europe. The central station will take your emergency and route it to the appropriate and nearest help. Here is a list of other countries outside Europe where you can still dial 112.
List of Countries outside Europe you can dial 112 for emergency
- South Africa
- East Timor
- Hong Kong
- Saudi Arabia
- South Korea
- Sri Lanka
- Republic of China (Taiwan)
- United Arab Emirates
- Dominican Republic
- New Zealand
- South America
- Costa Rica
fun fact: 11 February is the European 112 Day. To promote the use of the 112 system.
Let’s say you certainly need a doctor to come by but it’s not a matter of life and death, you can reach the on-call medical hotline – 116117.
Emergency Doctor: 116117
When to call 116117
This is the medical on-call service. When you need to see the doctor as soon as possible but would not need to be transported to the hospital or you are not in mortal danger. A small medical team will come to assist. This is helpful for weekends and evenings when doctors’ offices are closed.
When to call 110
Call the police when you are in a life-threatening situation. You should also call the police if you are a witness to a crime or someone else might be in danger. In Germany, it is a crime not to call the police when someone else is in danger.
Misuse of the Emergency Numbers in Germany
It is a crime to misuse any emergency numbers in Germany. You can either go to prison(for up to a year) or have to pay a fine. You will also have to pay for any resources that are used to respond to your request such as the mobilization of the emergency teams to help you. Also let’s say someone got hurt or the ambulance destroyed any property in getting to you, you will be liable for that too.
Always remember the numbers 110 and 112. If you do not know who to call, default to 112. And do not call emergency numbers for fun. Someone else’s life depends on it.