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In many countries the public telephone network has a single emergency telephone number that allows a caller to contact local emergency services for assistance. The emergency number differs from country to country; it is typically a three-digit number so that it can be easily remembered and dialed quickly. Some countries have a different emergency number for each of the different emergency services; these often differ only by the last digit. In the European Union, Russia, Ukraine and Switzerland and others "112" was introduced as a common emergency call number during the 1990s, and as the GSM standard it is now a well known emergency number across the globe alongside the North American "911". (via Freebase)