ALERT: In case of emergency, dial 911 and NOT 112

KENOSHA (WITI) -- Information being distributed on some social media sites, including Facebook, suggests people in the U.S. and Canada should dial 112 instead of 911 in certain emergencies. Kenosha County officials say that is FALSE!

The post that is spreading virally specifically says dialing 112 may be useful if someone is trying to pull you over and you are not certain it is the police. The thread goes on to claim that 112 will be answered faster, and some threads say that you will be routed directly to the police. Again, officials say this is false.

Sgt. Bill Beth with the Kenosha County Sheriff's Department says 112 is the European emergency number. Several wireless carriers sell cellular devices in both the 911 area (US & Canada) and in the 112 area (Europe). To ensure that customers are able to call for emergency help in all three markets, the wireless carriers who sell these devices convert the emergency number dialed to the appropriate local emergency number.

The bottom line here -- anyone in the U.S. or Canada facing a genuine emergency is encouraged to dial 911 and no other number. Never call 112 just to "test” if it works; you will tie up public safety resources and waste valuable time for people facing real emergencies.