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Calling in Emergency

Information from the caller is important for the responders to assess what has happened and the situation on location.

Decisions on which responders are sent and the priority of the response is based on the information given by the person contacting 1-1-2 from location. Please allow time for the conversation and try to give as clear a picture of what is going on as you can.

You can expect stress, fright and chaos during emergencies. Everything goes much slower when there is a lot of pressure. If you know how to react, it's easier to handle the stress. That creates a valuable time that can often differentiate between life and death. To do that it’s good to be prepared to answer these questions:

  • Where is the incident?
  • What happened?
  • When?
  • Who are you?

Do not hang up. The emergency operator decides when they have enough information.

After the conversation has ended it is important to monitor the sick or injured individual as well as preparing for and securing the arrival of the emergency responders.

  • Contact 1-1-2 again if their condition becomes worse.
  • Open doors or at least make sure they are not locked.
  • Keep an eye out for responders that are on the way.
  • Receive the responders when they arrive.

If you are in doubt whether to contact 112 or not, contact 112.

All conversations with 112 Iceland are recorded.

You can call 112 Iceland even if you are abroad. In that case call +354 5702112.

1-1-2 is for the children

Reports to Child Protection Services are made through 1-1-2.

According to the Icelandic Child Protection Act, the main objective of child protection is to ensure that children (defined as individuals under the age of 18) are raised in satisfactory conditions. The Act also covers unborn children if their life or wellbeing may be endangered by the behaviour of the mother, or she is being subjected to violence or abuse.

In Iceland there exists a mandatory reporting system in which the public and professionals alike are obliged to notify the local Child Protection Committee if child´s welfare is in any way compromised.

All children have a right to protection against violence. It is the adults’ responsibility to guard this. We should all be concerned with children's welfare. If you are concerned about a child and you think their parents are not capable of giving it proper care you should report it.

Emergency responders

In Iceland there is only one emergency number. Therefore 1-1-2 serves an important role in connecting those in need to the proper responders. The requests that come through 1-1-2 are therefore very varied and are not all based on accidents or sudden disease. 1-1-2 will call on the appropriate responder to go on location and provide services needed. These include:

  • Department of Civil Protection and Emergency Management of the National Commissioner of the Icelandic Police
  • Child Protection Services
  • Coast Guard
  • Police
  • Iceland Red Cross
  • ICE-SAR Association
  • Fire departments
  • The Icelandic Road and Coastal Administration (IRCA)

More on 1-1-2 strategic partners (in Icelandic).

Handling requests

When you contact 112, the phone number and location appears at the emergency operators screen if available. The emergency operator asks what the nature of the request is and for more information depending on the case.

Neyðarlínan has a quality system with hundreds of processes, from asking about the location of the incident, to help instructions for giving birth in a car. These processes are built into the computer systems and support the emergency operator step by step in finding out the necessary priority of response. When enough information is available, the system alerts appropriate responders.

The requests fall into many different categories

An overview showing the emergency line's requests from 2017 to 2021. The most common requests are for police assistance, ambulance transport, illness and accidents. Others include search and rescue, domestic violence, child protection and fire department assistance.

Yfirlit sem sýnir verkefni Neyðarlínunnar 2017 til 2021. Algengustu verkefnin eru aðstoð lögreglu, sjúkraflutningar, veikindi og slys. Önnur eru leit og björgun, heimilisofbeldi, barnavernd og aðstoð slökkviliðs.

All requests are sorted into priority categories.

  • Priority 1 is a life-threatening situation with the highest priority. For example, on dispatch of the whole fire department, mass accident or single person accident with severe injuries.
  • Priority 2 has the next highest priority. Ambulance and/or other rescue is sent in priority driving, but the situation is not life-threatening.
  • Priority 3 is an incident that requires immediate assistance without any priority. For example, a local action where not many people are required.
  • Priority 4 is a request that is on hold with other projects with the project manager at the station. That might be something has some time limit, for example, a transferral of a patient between institutions because of research or operation.