How to access Emergency Services
There seems to be some confusion these days around how to access emergency services and the national Triple Zero Awareness Work Group has become aware that a variety of messages are being circulated throughout the community, some of which are inaccurate.
This information is provided as an initiative of the Australian Government, State and Territory Emergency Services.
The primary number to call for emergency assistance from any phone in Australia is Triple Zero (000) - unless you are hearing or speech impaired, in which case the number is 106.
What are the other numbers people are talking about?
This number will only work from certain mobile phones, and is not available from fixed lines or payphones. Regardless, the number is routed through to the Triple Zero (000) call centre. There is no advantage to dialling 112 over Triple Zero (000), and publicising the number only serves to confuse the Triple Zero (000) message. Rumours that 112 "goes to the head of the queue", "is the only number that will work on a mobile phone" and "works even when there is no mobile phone coverage because it uses satellites" are completely untrue.
This number connects to the text-based relay service for people who are deaf or have a hearing or speech impairment. It will not work on fixed line phones.
This number is often heard on television, as many American shows broadcast in Australia . People often believe that 911 is the right number to call in order to access emergency services . It is extremely important that they realise that this number does not routinely re-route emergency calls to Triple Zero (000).
Why do we call it Triple Zero now, rather than Triple Oh?
Put simply, 'Oh' is a letter and 'Zero' is a number. In today's SMS-sawy world, you will note that the letter '0' sits on the 6 key on most alpha-numeric keypads. For our younger generation, dialling Triple Oh will result in them actually dialling 666, and they will not access emergency services through that number. 666 does not direct to Triple Zero (000) and there are no plans for this to happen in the future.
What can you do?
The national Triple Zero Awareness Work Group need help in raising the awareness of Triple Zero (000) as the number to call for emergency assistance.
As a local council with close ties to our community, we ask that you help promote the above information.
If you would like any further information, or would like to help to promote the Triple Zero (000) message, please visit www.triplezero.gov.au.