Registering

Q. Must I be deaf or hard of hearing to register?

A. No. The 112 SMS service is primarily for people who cannot make voice calls because they have a hearing loss or a speech impairment but it is available to anyone who needs to use it.

Q. If I change my mobile phone number will I need to register for this service again?

A. Yes.

Q. If I am already registered with a local emergency SMS scheme do I need to register with this service?

A. Yes. The 112 SMS service is a national service which provides direct access to all the Irish emergency services. You can still use your local service but you need to register with the 112 SMS service to be able to send an emergency text message to the Emergency Call Answering Service (ECAS) that handles all calls made to 112 or 999.

Q. Can an SMS be sent to 112 from an international mobile phone?

A. No. Such SMS”s are delivered back to the “home network” of the texter and therefore it will not be received here in Ireland.

Availability

Q. Is the 112 Emergency SMS service be available on all mobile phones, service providers and contracts?

A. Yes. Users of all Irish mobile networks can use the Emergency SMS Service to contact the Emergency Services.

Location

Q. Will the emergency service know where I am texting from?

A. Location information is not passed to the ECAS automatically in all cases and from all phones. We encourage you to provide additional personal information and include your address or a nearby landmark in your message to help the emergency services to find you.

In most cases Android based smartphones will try to find the phones location and send this to the Emergency Call Answering Service automatically when you send a text to 112. This is done by the phone automatically using AML [Link Required] and is currently [November 2020] not supported on Apple/IOS or other smartphones. As AML relies on the phones ability to get an accurate location, it should not be relied upon completely and you should always include your location in the text when requesting help.

Q. Can I create emergency messages and store them in my mobile phone ready to be used in an emergency?

A. Yes. Creating a message for your home address is a good idea. Some mobile phones allow ”Draft” messages or ”Templates” to be stored – please check your mobile phone instructions for more information. If you do put personal details into your mobile phone, we suggest you lock the phone with a PIN or password.

Q. Are special characters such as fadas supported?

A. Using special characters in text messages may result in your message not being decoded or displayed properly on the Emergency operators screen. It is recommended that only standard English language characters are included in text messages to 112.

Q. Can I send long messages to 112

A. While SMS messages are limited to 160 characters when sent over the network, most phones have the ability to split long messages into a number of messages of up to 160 characters and send them in sequence so that the receiving phone can reassemble them and show them as a single long message. The Emergency call answering service can accept long messages sent as multiple parts however it is strongly recommended that you try to send messages to 112 as single messages of less than 160 characters as there is a risk of part of a long message not being received.

Hoax Calls and Inappropriate Use

Q. What will happen if someone makes an intentional hoax SMS?

A. Messages received by the Service will be treated with the same priority as 112 or 999 voice emergency calls. As with the standard voice 112 or 999 emergency calls, if you misuse the Service the details of the call may be recorded and forwarded to the appropriate authorities. 

Q. “Sorry your phone is no longer able to send messages to the 112 SMS service.” What does this message mean?

A. If the 112 SMS service receives inappropriate messages from a phone number that phone number may be removed from the service.