German fire brigades unleash 'Twitter storm'

In honor of European 112 Day, German fire departments are tweeting about the incidents they are called out to. The aim is to raise awareness for emergency services and the amount of false alarms they have to deal with.

Fire departments across Germany published a flurry of tweets on Monday in honor of European 112 Day, held annually on February 11 to promote the existence and proper use of the Europe-wide emergency number 112.

Catastrophe | 08.02.2019

Berlin's fire brigade began what it called a 12-hour "Twitter storm" at 8:00 am local time (7:00 UTC) in which it published every 112 call it received.

"Attention! Brace yourselves for a current turbulent Twitter storm! ... So you better sit back and look at your digital windows," Berlin's fire brigade said on Twitter.

The campaign is meant to make the work of emergency services transparent, to interest potential new recruits and to show how many emergency calls have to be handled every day. 

[Miscellaneous] | 07.02.2019

A total of 41 fire departments nationwide were expected to participate as well, including those Hamburg, Munich, Düsseldorf and Bremen.

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What's the number?

Europe 112 Day began in 2009 after a 2008 showed that only 22 percent of Europeans knew that the emergency telephone number was 112 and it was available throughout the European Union. It has since become a general day of awareness for emergency services.

In Germany, some emergency services have become annoyed with the number of non-emergencies to which they get called.

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In Berlin alone, more than 458,000 fire trucks were deployed in 2017, almost 4,000 more than the previous year, according to Karsten Homrighausen, the director of the state fire brigade. The number has continued to rise over the past decade, and the number of false alarms is also increasing.

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