Triple Zero and Australia.

You should only call 000 when a situation is threatening to life or property, or is time-critical.

Triple 000 in Australia

Australia prior to 1969, did not have a national emergency services call number. The introduction of the now 000 emergency services number was in 1961 and was only for the major population centres (eg Capital Cities). Wasn’t till the end of the 1980’s that the number was rolled out nationally.

Why was 000 chosen as our number for emergency calls?

There was a number of reasons for this combination.

  1. It was easy to dial as it suited the telephones of the time.
  2. It allowed auto exchanges to easily and quickly process the call.

The exchanges in most remote areas required you in the day to call 0 to get a trunk line to the centre, and in some of the most remote areas of Australia you needed to dial 00 before any number to get a line out. To get a operator in the day you would dial 0 so the concept was that 000 would be easy to remember and allow for the technology of the day.

So what is 112 all about?

112 is a secondary emergency number that can be dialled from  mobile phones in Australia.

The number is designed to allow your phone to roam across networks to get signal from any carrier to allow your call for assistance to go out.

112 will only work on mobile devices.

Note you cannot text 112 0r 000.

So I have heard a bit about 106 for emergency calls, what is this?

106 is a text based emergency number and is used by people who are deaf or have hearing and speech impairments. This service sends messages to the Triple Zero call centre via using a Textphone (TTY) or a computer with a specialised modem access.

It is not possible to contact emergency services using the Short Message Service (SMS) on your mobile telephone.

Why not 911?

In Australia the prefix 911 was used in some states to assign a number to a business or home eg 911 0101, the concern this would cause confusion and false calls to the service.

911 is used by emergency services in the United States. Not all mobile phones can access Australia’s Emergency Call Service by dialling 911. You should use Australia’s primary emergency service number, Triple Zero (000) or the secondary emergency service number of 112 which can only be dialled on a digital mobile phone. While dialling 911 from some mobile phones may provide access to the Emergency Call Service, such access is not a formal feature of Australia’s telecommunications system and should not be relied upon in an emergency.

Tracking calls from Mobile devices in Australia.

Mobile phones account for around 63% of all calls to Triple Zero for assistance. Unlike landlines calls the mobile phone number doesn’t provide emergency services accurate details of your location.

This isn’t a major issue as most callers identify them self clearly to the operator with their name and location. But there are times estimated to be less than 1% of all calls where the caller is unable to provide details for a number of reasons.

Google Play
Apple Device
Windows Mobile

In these cases to help with finding your location the mobile carriers have been asked to allow the following as per the “New rules for locating mobile calls to Triple Zero” Acma Release 10/2011

  • provide the most precise location information they have available on request from an emergency service organisation
  • resolve emergency call location queries with the highest possible priority
  • ensure emergency service organisations are provided with a designated contact point and telephone number for location queries, or have a dedicated process for location queries
  • assist an emergency service org

These requirements where brought into action on 20 April 2011. HOWEVER it should be noted that mobile coverage is not always available outside of populated areas and Australians should not assume that the call has given accurate details of their location.

Smartphone apps and Triple Zero (000)

Australia’s Triple Zero Awareness Working Group has developed a smartphone app for iOS, Android and Windows devices to:

  • provide the caller with information about when to call Triple Zero
  • provide the caller with information about who to call in various non-emergency situations
    • State Emergency Service (SES) (132 500)
    • Police Assistance Line (131 444)
    • Crime Stoppers (1800 333 000)
    • Health Direct Australia (1800 022 222)
    • National Relay Service
  • assist the caller to dial the relevant number
  • display the GPS coordinates of the phone’s location that the caller can read out to the emergency operator.

    NOTE: apps are not able to automatically provide details of your location to Triple Zero (000) or an emergency service organisation—however, you can read out your GPS coordinates to the emergency operator if they are provided on your smartphone.

The app is free of charge and available for download from iTunes, Google Play and Windows Stores.

When should I call Triple Zero?

You should only call 000 when a situation is threatening to life or property, or is time-critical

Other numbers that can be used for non-emergencies are

  • Police Assistance Line (131 444)
  • Crime Stoppers (1800 333 000)
  • Health Direct Australia (1800 022 222)

How to Teach our Children how to call 000?

The NSW government has launched a child friendly and interactive system to help educate children on how to use the Triple Zero number and when it is appropriate and not appropriate for the call.

Visit http://kids.triplezero.gov.au/

Parents Resources:
http://kids.triplezero.gov.au/downloadable.php

How do I call for help?

Knowing how to call Triple Zero (000) in an emergency can be the difference between life and death.

The Triple Zero (000) service is the quickest way to get the right emergency service to help you.

It should be used to contact Police, Fire or Ambulance service in life threatening or emergency situations.

Calls to Triple Zero (000) are free and can be made from mobile phones, home or work phones or pay phones.

There a few simple steps to take when making a Triple Zero (000) call:

  • Stay calm and call Triple Zero (000/112) from a safe location.
  • A Telstra operator will ask you if you need Police, Fire or Ambulance. Say the service that you require. If you are calling using a mobile or satellite phone the operator will ask you for other location information.
  • You will then be connected to an emergency service operator, who will take details of the situation.
  • Stay on the line, speak clearly and answer the operator’s questions.
  • Give the nominated emergency service operator the details of where you are, including street number, name, nearest cross street, and locality. In rural areas it is important to give the full address and distances from landmarks and roads, not just the name of the property.
  • Don’t hang up until the operator has all the information they need.
  • If possible, wait outside at a prearranged meeting point or in a prominent location for emergency services to arrive to assist them to locate the emergency.
  • If you make a Triple Zero (000) call whilst travelling on a Motorway or on a rural road, identifying the direction you are travelling and the last exit or town you passed through will assist emergency services to correctly locate the incident.

Additional tips: other things everyone should know in an emergency

  • If a person is unable to speak English, they should call Triple Zero (000) from a fixed line, say ‘Police’, ‘Fire’ or ‘Ambulance’.  Once connected to the nominated emergency service, stay on the line and a translator will be organised.
  • Record the Triple Zero (000) emergency number beside the telephone at home and work.
  • Take time to teach children and overseas visitors how to make an emergency call.
  • Callers with hearing or speech impairments can call the one zero six (106) text-based emergency call service using a text phone.
References:
ACAMA:- http://www.acma.gov.au/theACMA/emergency-call-service-faq-i-acma
Triple Zero:- http://www.triplezero.gov.au/
Wikipedia: - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/000_Emergency