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Why calling 112 is important in an emergency or if you are simply lost.

t2andreo

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2022
I came across this in my daily reading of the Spanish newspapers online:


The bottom line is that the 112 emergency line authorities have advanced geolocation capability. If you call 112 and ask for help, they can fix your position to within 15 to 20 meters. This presumes you are using a phone with GPRS capability. All smart phones have this capability as well as some older phones.

So, if you are cold, lost, injured, or feel at risk and call 112 for help, the authorities will KNOW where you are. They can send responders directly to your location.

Hope this helps.

Tom
 
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mspath

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances, autumn/winter; 2004, 2005-2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
Does one have to use a Spanish SIM to use this?
The number 112 works to call emergency help throughout Europe on any phone that works in Europe, landline or mobile.

However only if using a mobile phone which has GPRS capability will the authorities automatically know your location.
 
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Time of past OR future Camino
Us:Camino Frances, 2015 Me:Catalan/Aragonese, 2019
AML appears to be new to Spain as Wikipedia articles in four languages do not mention it as implemented in Spain. Highest accuracy will be with GPS if your phone has it. If you have disabled GPS it will be turned on long enough to send an SMS to emergency services if you dial them. There is a setting on Android phones to switch AML on or off; search for "emergency" in the settings search box.

Tank you Tom.
 
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lt56ny

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
10/22 Aragones/Frances
I came across this in my daily reading of the Spanish newspapers online:


The bottom line is that the 112 emergency line authorities have advanced geolocation capability. If you call 112 and ask for help, they can fix your position to within 15 to 20 meters. This presumes you are using a phone with GPRS capability. All smart phones have this capability as well as some older phones.

So, if you are cold, lost, injured, or feel at risk and call 112 for help, the authorities will KNOW where you are. They can send responders directly to your location.

Hope this helps.

Tom
Great advice Tom. I would also recommend having the Alert Cop app. I install it every time before I go on Camino. If you need to use the app it will put you in touch with someone who speaks English. I know it can be used in other languages too. Not sure which ones as i am an English speaker. It has a GPS tracker also so if you are hurt or in trouble and you have no idea where you are they can track your location like calling 112. I have no idea if there is a delay to speak to someone who can communicate in your home language with 112. But having both options can't hurt. Also maybe in an emergency a foreign person may not remember 112.
 

Simon B

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Ingles and Camino Frances. VDLP Spring 2019
I came across this in my daily reading of the Spanish newspapers online:


The bottom line is that the 112 emergency line authorities have advanced geolocation capability. If you call 112 and ask for help, they can fix your position to within 15 to 20 meters. This presumes you are using a phone with GPRS capability. All smart phones have this capability as well as some older phones.

So, if you are cold, lost, injured, or feel at risk and call 112 for help, the authorities will KNOW where you are. They can send responders directly to your location.

Hope this helps.

Tom
Another way to pin point where you are if you have a smart phone is using the what3words app. It is world wide and I think most emergency services use it [And it is free].
 
Time of past OR future Camino
Us:Camino Frances, 2015 Me:Catalan/Aragonese, 2019
Another way to pin point where you are if you have a smart phone is using the what3words app. It is world wide and I think most emergency services use it [And it is free].
Go to settings, pick primary 3 word address language and then Espanol (España) / Spanish (Spain) to get the three words they will understand.

If you have trouble pronouncing the Spanish words look to a neighboring box to see if those words are easier.
 
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colleenvv

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Future
I had a problem today on the Camino. Please dial 062 NOT 112. They put me on hold as no one spoke English & didn’t have a translator. Please dial 062 as more local to your area and they can react quicker as they have patrols.
 

C clearly

Moderator
Staff member
Time of past OR future Camino
Most years since 2012
Please dial 062
Can you tell us exactly what the responders said you should have done? I believe what you have said about your experience, but I wonder whether that was an exception and the call was somehow accidentally dropped, or whether the generalized advice to call 062 instead of 112 is correct, and for exactly what circumstances.
 
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dougfitz

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Spain: Mar 2010, Apr 2014, May/Jun 2016. Norway/Sweden: 2012, 2018. Other: 2011, 2019. CP (tbc)
I looked for a country equivalent to the Emergency+ app that I use here in Australia. It opens up with the a screen showing icons for emergency, SES and police non-emergency assistance, as well as your current location as an address, lat/long and what3words. AlertCops is the best equivalent I have found for Spain, but I couldn't find anything for Portugal.

I have found another app named Travel Safe that lists national emergency numbers around the world.

For Spain, AlertCops lists three numbers - emergencies (112), Civil Guard (062) and National Police (091).
Travel Safe lists 11 numbers, including municipal police, civil defence and maritime emergency services.

My observation is that 112 is now recognised almost all around the world as the emergency number that can be dialled free from modern (GSM) mobile phones, even though in countries like the US, Australia and the UK it redirects to the national emergency service number rather than connect directly. There are two other reasons to use it rather than attempt to use another number:
  • as a visitor, I don't have a detailed knowledge of what agency is responsible for what emergency in the countries I am visiting. In places like Spain, where there are three levels of 'police', I have no idea which I should contact for a specific set of circumstances. The 112 operators do, or should, and more, if the situation requires multiple agencies, they can make all the required connections. Ringing a single, specialty, number might not do that.
  • the 112 number is part of the GSM standard, which allows the number to be called on any available service provider for free, and on some phones can be called without a SIM installed.
I can understand that @colleenvv is sharing her experience, but I think that there are very good reasons to continue to advise pilgrims to use 112, and to have the AlertCops app installed when in Spain.
 
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lt56ny

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
10/22 Aragones/Frances
I just wrote elsewhere:
Hi Ric, when you open the app the first time and set up the system it asks you which language you need to communicate in. It was really easy. I delete the app after I return home from every camino. I do this because I always buy a SIM card from Vodafone and they give me a new number so I need to start from scratch every time. But it is super easy.
 

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