Emergency 000 vs 112

If you’ve ever wondered what the difference between the Australian emergency number 000 and the European standard 112 is, check this Australian Communications Authority document.

In past years 112 had network priority and other advantages that 000 didn’t, including working without a SIM, and when the handset is keypad locked. This is no longer the case, as most handsets and SIMs now sold in Australia have a firmware modification to treat 000 just as well as 112. My own handset, a two-year-old Nokia 6100, will happily accept 112 or 000 even when keylocked. (No, I didn’t press the dial key when trying this.)

The stuff on page 10 reveals just how ignorant of emergency numbers some people are, despite 000 being “it” for decades. Mind you, I’m not sure why they don’t make moves to allow 112 from fixed line phones, for the benefit of overseas visitors.

Oh, there’s also 106 for Telephone Typewriter (TTY) users. So far there’s no SMS-capable emergency number. But it’s notable that an emergency call where the operator can’t hear the caller is diverted to a recorded service allowing the caller to press “55” to indicate an emergency if they can’t talk, allowing the call to be passed back to the operator or police, and CLI to be used to despatch a response. Good thinking, whoever thought that up.