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Why is the emergency number 112?

In case of emergency, dial 112. The slogan has been clear for a long time. It is no longer necessary to memorize that 092 is the telephone number of the Local Police, 091 that of the National Police, 062 that of the Civil Guard, 080 to notify the firefighters or 061 to request healthcare assistance. All emergency calls are channeled through 112, from where all operations that must intervene to resolve an emergency situation are coordinated, regardless of the administration on which they depend. Until then, all citizens are more or less clear about it, but there are issues that escape the majority. Why three figures? why 1 and 2? since when does it work? How many professionals work on coordinating citizen calls? What are the major incidents?


The creation of a single emergency number was already recommended by the European Telecommunications Administration in 1972, but it did not become mandatory in the EU until 1991. In Spain it took several years to arrive. It was not until 1997 when a royal decree was approved that empowered the autonomous communities to provide this service, and it was not until 2002 when it was implemented in Andalusia through the Emergency Coordination Center.

Why those numbers?

There had to be three figures to avoid accidental calls, and if it was established that it was 112 it was for several reasons, according to Emergencies 112 Andalucía. The first of them is that they were three figures that were easy to remember for older people and children. They are the first numbers that are learned and in addition, they can use the mnemonic rule that 1 and 1 add up to 2.

Added to these reasons is another one that is an example of practicality and logic in those times. Old telephones, those that had a dial that had to be turned to dial each number, slowed down the call a lot, so the shortest possible sequence was chosen.

Configuration and structure in Andalusia

Emergencies 112 Andalucía is a service available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to meet urgent and emergency demands in health matters, public safety, civil protection or firefighting and rescue. It is also multilingual, serving citizens in English, French, German and Arabic as well as, logically, in Spanish.

Operational staff

More than 500 professionals work in service 112 distributed in two regional call answering headquarters located in Malaga and Seville, from where citizen demands are attended, all the necessary information is collected to be able to manage the incident and the large number of calls that the same event can produce. In addition, there are eight provincial centers in which the monitoring and management of each warning is carried out.

What are the most common calls?

Throughout 2017, 112 managed 595,091 incidents in Andalusia, of which 114,871 occurred in the province of Malaga. As a whole, health care was the majority, followed by public safety and traffic accidents. By month, the busiest months are usually July and August, coinciding with the holiday periods, the increase in tourists and the increase in outdoor leisure-sports activities and road travel.

Service rating

The Andalusians give outstanding marks to the service provided by Emergencies 112 Andalusia. Specifically, users give a 9.02 out of 10 to the quality of staff attention, and an 8.89 to the overall management carried out.