Also called

  • Emergencies - calling triple zero (000)

Summary

  • Call triple zero (000) in an emergency for ambulance, fire or police services.
  • Do not hang up during a call to triple zero until the operator tells you to as the operator may still be able to help you until emergency service staff arrive.
  • Call 112 from a mobile phone, even if the keypad is locked, your phone is out of credit, or out of range of your regular GSM carrier as you will still be connected to emergency services as long as you are within range of another GSM service.
  • Call 112 in an emergency when you are overseas to be connected to the local emergency call service.
  • Avoid using a VoIP service to call triple zero (000) as it is unreliable.
In an emergency, you can get immediate assistance by calling triple zero (000) to reach police, fire or ambulance services.

Emergency – ambulance, fire, police

You can call triple zero (000) 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It is a free call. When you call triple zero (000), first tell the operator which service you need – ambulance, fire or police. Then be prepared to answer questions such as:

  • Where is the emergency?
  • What is your call-back number?
  • What has happened?
  • How many people are hurt?
  • If someone is hurt, how old is the person?
  • Is the person conscious?
  • Is the person breathing?
Follow any instructions the operator gives you and do not hang up until the operator tells you to. The operator may be able to offer help over the phone until emergency service staff arrive. People with a hearing or speech impediment can use the text-based emergency services network by dialling 106 on a teletypewriter (TTY). The 106 service does not accept voice calls.

Calling triple zero (000) from a mobile phone

If you are using a global system mobile communications (GSM) mobile phone, call triple zero (000) first. Any mobile or SIM card produced after 2003 will connect you to an operator, even if you are out of credit or out of range of your normal service provider. If your mobile phone was purchased before 2003 and is out of credit or out of range of your normal network, call 112.

The Commonwealth Government has developed a free smartphone app called Emergency+ that provides information about when to call triple 000 and who to call in non-emergency situations.

Remember, if there is no mobile coverage at all, you will not be able to call for emergency assistance from a mobile phone.

Calling emergency services when travelling overseas

As GSM is an international standard, you can call 112 in an emergency when you are overseas to be connected to the local emergency call service. 112 cannot be dialled from the fixed network (pay phones or landlines).

Calling from a VoIP service

Avoid using a VoIP (voice over internet protocol) service to call triple zero (000) as it is unreliable and can make it difficult to contact emergency services. Some VoIP providers are unable to provide access to emergency calls. VoIP services can drop out because they rely on constant internet and power access to maintain the call. The quality of your internet connection can also affect the quality of your call and emergency service operators may find it hard to talk with you. If you are using a VoIP service to call emergency services, be clear and exact about your location to the operator so they can reach you.

Where to get help

  • In an emergency, always call triple zero (000)
  • People with a hearing or speech impediment use the text-based emergency services network by dialing 106 on a teletypewriter (TTY)
  • Call 112 from a mobile phone, even if the keypad is locked, your phone is out of credit or out of range of your regular GSM carrier, and you will still be connected to emergency services so long as you are within range of another GSM service.
References
  • Key issues to consider before getting VoIP, Australian Communications and Media Authority, Australian Government. More information here.
  • Fire Information Services – Victoria, Department of Sustainability and Environment, Victorian Government. More information here.
  • Gas – what to do, Energy Safe Victoria. More information here.
  • Emergency Call Services: Frequently asked questions, Australian Communications and Media Authority, Australian Government. More information here.

More information

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This page has been produced in consultation with and approved by: Better Health Channel

Last updated: March 2012

Content on this website is provided for education and information purposes only. Information about a therapy, service, product or treatment does not imply endorsement and is not intended to replace advice from your doctor or other registered health professional. Content has been prepared for Victorian residents and wider Australian audiences, and was accurate at the time of publication. Readers should note that, over time, currency and completeness of the information may change. All users are urged to always seek advice from a registered health care professional for diagnosis and answers to their medical questions.