Posted by: Chris Nussman
You may have seen recent posts on social media sites urging people in the U.S. to dial 1-1-2 rather than 9-1-1 in certain emergencies. This is bad advice.
The posts claim that 1-1-2 is especially effective if you are being pulled over in your car and want to ensure that you are dealing with the police. It also claims that by dialing1-1-2, your call will be answered faster and may go directly to the police.
Here are the facts:
FACT: 1-1-2 is the European emergency number. Several wireless providers offer mobile phones that can use either system for emergency calls, depending on the user’s location.
FACT: While dialing 1-1-2 in the United States may work on certain devices and on certain wireless networks, the only way to ensure that your call for emergency assistance gets through is to dial 9-1-1. When a caller tries to use 1-1-2 in the United States, the call may not go through. Even if it does, 1-1-2 provides no special emergency call handling – in fact, it adds a delay due to it having to be converted to “9-1-1” and then routed to the appropriate 9-1-1 call center.
FACT: No one should ever call 1-1-2 just to “test” if it works; you’ll tie up public safety resources and waste valuable time for people facing real emergencies.
The bottom line is that anyone calling for emergency assistance in the United States or Canada should always dial 9-1-1 for the fastest and most effective response.