Emergency phone number 112

Development of the emergency response service

The common European emergency phone number 112 was established on 20 July 1991 with a decision of the Council of Europe. The Council of Europe recommended that the emergency phone number 112 be adopted in parallel with local emergency phone numbers by 31 December 1992 at the latest.

In Estonia, implementation of the emergency phone number 112 was confirmed on 4 December 1991, with Regulation No. 256 of the Government of the Republic, which laid down the concept of an emergency response centre of the Estonian Rescue Board. In this concept, the tasks of the future Emergency Response Centre were listed for the first time and included receiving emergency notifications via the common emergency phone number and forwarding information to rescue workers and the ambulance on the basis of previously compiled action plans. At that time, emergency calls were processed at 90 different site across Estonia.

The adoption of 112 was prepared as of 1992, that’s when it became possible to call 112 from the mobile network. All 112 calls made in Estonia were directed to Tallinn, as counties lacked the capability to respond to 112 calls. During 1994–1999, the emergency phone number 112 was adopted across Estonia in the fix network as well and calls made from mobile phones were directed to the relevant county. As of 1998, all counties have been responding to emergency calls. Previous emergency phone numbers were used in parallel with 112.

The emergency phone number 112 was adopted as a nationwide emergency phone number in Estonia as of 1 April 2000. In order to get emergency assistance, you had to call 112 (ambulance and rescue) or 110 (police).

As of 11 February 2015, only one emergency phone number is used in Estonia – 112, which can be used to request all types of help – ambulance, rescue workers or police. The transition from two emergency phone numbers (112 and 110) to one made it simpler for people to call for help and allows for faster provision of help at a higher quality.