Copy, enlarge, and print the form on the right and put it by your phone. It could help.
Printable version in Google Docs here.
“Imagine this scenario. Your spouse is TDY and your kids are rough housing as usual. One of them is injured so badly that you cannot drive the child to the hospital and care for the child at the same time. You call 112, the emergency number, and the German on the other end doesn’t speak any English and hangs up! You call 112 again, trying to tell the German about your emergency, giving the name of the village and your address, but no Krankenwagon comes!
Sounds pretty horrible, doesn’t it? This is exactly what happened to one of AWGK’s members in November. Luckily she was able to procure help from neighbors and her child is fine now, but how could this nightmare have been prevented?
First, arm yourself with knowledge. German phone numbers are not connected by some magic program to addresses like they are in the U.S. The German emergency workers have no idea where you live if you can’t tell them. Knowing this, you need to be able to speak enough German to get help. As a bare minimum you should be able to say your name, address, and phone number in German and, here’s the key, be able to German phonetically spell your name and address and use German number works to say your phone number. For example, I would spell Hartweg, “ha, aah, air, tay, vay, ay, gay.” Will I ever be able to remember this in an emergency? No. So I should write or type this up and place it by my phone in case I or one of my family members needs to call 110/112 for emergency help.
Secondly, if you would feel more comfortable, take a basic German class at the Airman and Family Readiness Center or a more in depth course. Third, make friends with your neighbors. Most Germans are friendly, willing to help, and quite a few speak English! Lastly, be prepared! Practice emergency scenarios with your family members, especially the children. What if it is you that needs help and your spouse is TDY? Train your children not to panic and to follow the procedures you establish.
Fill in the following emergency card and keep by your telephone to prevent these emergencies from becoming tragedies!”
Emergency number: 112
German language basics: (also included on form above)
Meine Telefonnummer is:
0 = null
1 = eins (eye-nz)
2 = zwei (zv-eye)
3 = drei (dr-eye)
4 = vier (fear)
5 = fünf (foonf)
6 = sechs (zeks)
7 = seiben (zeeben)
8 = acht (ahkt)
9 = neun (noin)
My name is ____________________ Mein Name (nah mah) ist.
My address is __________________ Meine Adresse (adre sah) ist.
Do you speak English? _____________ Sprechen Sie Englisch? (Spreken Zee…)
Emergency! ____________________ Notfall! (Note-fall)
Call the police! __________________ Rufen Sie Die Polizei! (Roof-en Zee Dee Pole-eats-eye)
Fire! _________________________Feuer! (foyer)
Get a doctor! ___________________ Holen Sie einen Arzt! (Holen Zee Eye-nen Airst)
Help! ____________________ ____ Hilfe!
Get Help! ______________________Holen Sie Hilfe!
I do not speak German. ____________ Ich spreche kein Deutche. (Eek sprekah kine Doich)
I only speak English. ______________ Ich spreche nur Englisch. (Eek sprekah nur English)
Please call an ambulance! ___________Bitte rufen Sie einen Krankenwagan! (Bitah roofen zee eye-nen cronken-vogen)
German phonetic alphabet:
A = aah ________ J = yut ________ S = es
B = bay ________ K = kah ________T = tay
C = say ________ L = el _________U = ooh
D = day ________M = em ________V = fow (rhyms with cow)
E = ay _________N = en _________W = vay
F = ef _________ O = oh _________ X = icks
G = gay ________P = pay ________Y = oops-il-on
H = ha ________Q = koo ________ Z = t’set
I = eee ________R = air