Event Emergencies: Who Will You Call?

Emergency Phone CallIn a recent post, I blogged about how to be prepared in case of an event emergency. Among the many things you can do should the unthinkable occur at your conference or convention, one of the most important things is to be well-informed on how to summon proper emergency medical care.

An easy task, right? Sure, as long as you're aware of the fact that contact information for emergency services varies from country to country. Here, in the United States, everyone knows 911 equals emergency. But if you decide to host an event in London, for example, be sure to dial 999 or 112.

As a reference, I've compiled this high-level overview of how to get in touch with emergency medical services (EMS) in each global region. In all cases, make sure to talk to your venue contact prior to the event. He or she can best assist you when you're hosting meetings in unfamiliar territory.

North America

First deployed in 1959, in Winnipeg, Canada, 911 is the emergency number used throughout the majority of North America.

European Union

EU countries adopted 112 as the standard emergency number in 1991. However, a few countries have yet to implement the number. In the United Kingdom and Ireland, 999 work in parallel to 112.

Middle East/Asia

Emergency numbers in Asia vary from country to country. China's medical emergency number is 120, Japan's is 119, and Singapore's is 995. Make sure to check the specifics of the destination in which you are hosting an event.


000, or triple-zero, is the primary number for emergencies in Australia, though GSM mobile phones should dial 112 in order to be reconnected to triple-zero operators.

Central America/Caribbean

Many countries use 911 as an emergency number. However, be sure to verify; Guatemala (120), Jamaica (110) and Barbados (511) are among those that do not use 911.

South America

Once again, emergency numbers for medical services vary greatly. 911 is used by both Paraguay and Uruguay, but other countries have their own three-digit number.


In a few countries, including Sudan, Sierra Leone and Zimbabwe, you can dial 999 to access medical emergency service. Most countries vary in the designated number.
blog comments powered by Disqus
Subscribe to our Monthly Newsletter
Receive updates on the latest trends, best practices, and strategies
to transform your meetings and events