Despite the clever choice of 11 February (11.2. in European date format), the European 112 Emergency Call Day is not a very high-profile event. In fact, many people don’t even know this vital telephone number, which can be relied upon 365 days a year to save lives. Frieder Kircher says that has to change. The head of the Joint Committee for Fire Protection Education of the vfdb and the German Fire Services Association (DFV) is determined: "Children should be taught about fire safety at a very early age in childcare facilities and elementary schools as part of the compulsory curriculum, not just by choice!"
According to Kircher, the first step in fire safety training is making sure everyone knows the emergency number. "Of course, one set day in the year isn’t enough to publicize the emergency number. However, it’s a useful opportunity to highlight how knowing this number can save people's lives," Kircher says. By teaching children in childcare facilities and elementary schools about fire safety, they can be told what kind of questions they will be asked if they ever need to call 112, so they can answer as precisely as possible. It is also important to know that 112 works as an emergency call number throughout the entire European Union. In fact, 112 can also be used in many non-EU countries such as Switzerland, Turkey and Russia. Not only that, but even in the United States and Canada, calls to 112 are automatically diverted to the countries' own "911" response teams. This knowledge gives very young minors the confidence to do the right thing in major emergencies.