Emer­gen­cy calls

andThe aim of the emergency call service is to enable people to call for competent help quickly. In an emergency, anyone needing help should be able to reach the correct local emergency service centre free of charge. Subscribers of publicly available telephone services are therefore able to call the emergency services by dialling short national emergency call numbers. Operators answering emergency calls can see the caller's number even if the caller has blocked the call number display. Operators now also often receive information automatically about the caller's location.

Police and rescue services in Germany are the responsibility of the federal states.

Tasks in connection with emergency calls

Section 108(3) of the Telecommunications Act (TKG) of 22 June 2004 (Federal Law Gazette I page 1190), as last amended by Article 1 of the Act of 3 May 2012 (Federal Law Gazette I page 958), states that the technical details for

  • defining catchment areas served by emergency service centres,
  • setting up emergency calls either as telephone calls or faxes to the correct or alternative local emergency service centres,
  • defining the extent of the emergency call features to be provided, including transmission of the information required to locate the caller,
  • providing and transmitting suitable data to enable emergency service centres to prosecute any misuse of emergency calls, and
  • defining criteria for the accuracy and reliability of identifying the caller's location

are to be laid down by the Bundesnetzagentur in a Technical Directive, to be updated in line with technical developments as and when necessary.

The Bundesnetzagentur assigns protected numbers to the emergency service centres, stores geographic data on local telephone network and district boundaries, updates the table showing which local networks and districts are served by which emergency service centres, and makes this information available to the providers of telecommunications services and telecommunications network operators for the purposes of routing emergency calls.

Information for service providers routing emergency calls

The emergency service centres have protected numbers that cannot be dialled directly by subscribers. The providers of publicly available telecommunications services convert the short numbers 110 and 112 into the correct local emergency service centre's number and connect the calls.

The Bundesnetzagentur manages the numbers assigned to emergency service centres and the description of the geographical catchment areas served by the centres. The information for setting up emergency calls is made available in the form of a register to the providers of publicly available telecommunications services and telecommunications network operators within a closed user group for emergency call handling agents.

Date of modification: 2014.01.21