The Emergency phone number in Australia is 000. This number should be used in all emergencies, and the dispatcher will assess which services (Police, Ambulance, Fire) are necessary. To call 000 is free from any landline, public phone box or mobile phone (even a prepaid account that is out of credit). It is illegal for any provider to charge for an emergency call.

As English is Australia’s only official language, any emergency call you make will be answered by an English-speaking operator. However, it is worth noting that great lengths have been taken recently to ensure non-English speakers will have fast access to translators in an emergency situation.

The operator will ask you if you need Fire, Ambulance or Police. If you are not sure, or need more than one, say so: Emergency Operators are extremely well trained and can be relied on to be calm, efficient and helpful in a crisis.

If you call an ambulance and live in the Metro area, you will not wait longer than 15 minutes for it to arrive. If you are calling from a mobile phone, and don’t know the address, try to give the operator the suburb and the nearest landmarks.

Ambulances are privatised, and so carry different logos, but all are easily identified by their large size and shape as well as the typically distinctive lights and sirens. This information is only relevant if you are watching for an ambulance to arrive at your house. The centralised emergency number (000) is the only way to request an ambulance, and you will not have a choice of ambulance company that provides service. If you have private health insurance, it is highly likely that your ambulance costs will be covered, but it is highly recommended that you check this detail, as any ambulance ride will be costly (over $1000).