We outline every emergency number and service you need to know about should you need help while living in Austria.
There are different emergency services available in Austria, including the fire brigade, the police, and medical teams. However, each one operates separately and has its own number. Because of this, you need to know exactly who to contact in case of fire, crime, or other emergencies.
In this guide, we break down everything you should know about Austrian emergency services, including:
- Emergency Services in Austria
- Fire services in Austria
- Police in Austria
- Healthcare and accidents in Austria
- Mental health services in Austria
- Drug and alcohol services in Austria
- Children, family, and youth services in Austria
- Crime-related services in Austria
- Utility and telecommunication services in Austria
- Road and traffic emergency services in Austria
- Homelessness services in Austria
- Animal services in Austria
- Tourist services in Austria
- Lost or stolen property in Austria
- European-wide emergency numbers
- Emergency terms and phrases in Austria
- Useful resources
COVID-19 in Austria
The COVID-19 pandemic has been a difficult time for everyone. Many expats find themselves separated from family and loved ones in their home countries. As a foreigner, it is also sometimes difficult to find critical information regarding coronavirus infection rates, local measures and restrictions, and now, thankfully, vaccinations.
- For general coronavirus health information in Austria, including vaccination schedules and the latest government restrictions, consult our guide to the COVID-19 pandemic in Austria.
Emergency services in Austria
Austria has a strong emergency service and response sector. Therefore, the country has its own fire brigade, police force, and ambulance service. In addition, Austria offers emergency services for things like poisoning, psychiatry, and mountain rescue. Furthermore, there are even services for women and children.
Similarly, there are emergency services for things like service disruptions – for water, electricity, and heating, for example. However, there is not just one emergency number in Austria. Instead, there are several you should be aware of for different types of emergencies.
In general, the Austria emergency number is 112. This is the same as in the rest of the European Union. With this number, it takes about nine seconds for someone to answer your call. However, you will need to use different numbers for different Austrian services. You can find the numbers for these in the next sections. On average, the response time in Austria is five to 10 minutes in cities and 15 to 20 minutes in rural areas.
Austrian emergency services use the same types of response vehicles as you would expect to see in other countries, including ambulances, fire trucks, and police cars. However, they may be in different colors and have sirens you may not be used to.
Being such a safe country, the Austrian emergency numbers don’t get used much. For instance, in 2018, only 19% of calls to the 112 number were from Austria; one of the lowest in Europe.
Fire services in Austria
In Austria, the fire brigade – or Feuerwehr – is part of the Austria Fire Brigade Association. Firefighting is a public organization, however, in practice, local municipalities or licensed companies actually carry it out. There are over 4,550 volunteer fire brigades in Austria. However, Vienna and most other cities – including Salzburg, Graz, and Innsbruck – have full-time professional fire brigades.
The Austria emergency number for the fire brigade is 122 and is available 24 hours a day.
Police in Austria
In Austria, the Directorate-General for Public Security oversees the police. This is part of the Federal Ministry of the Interior. Since 2005, the federal police – the Bundespolizei – includes the gendarmerie, local police, criminal investigative services, and constabulary. As such, the police system has nine state police commands; one in each Austrian state. It also includes over 20,000 police officers in more than 1,000 stations.
The Austrian police mainly deal with crime and disruptions to public order. However, they also oversee sanitation, building inspection, and crowd control at events.
The Austria emergency number for police is 133. For non-emergency services, however, you should call your local police station.
Healthcare and accidents in Austria
Austria has a robust medical and healthcare system. So, if you’re feeling sick and need medical attention, you can easily access a doctor. However, for immediate help, call 141. In the case of serious medical emergencies or accidents, you should get in touch with the local emergency medical service – the Rettungsdienst. To do this, call the ambulance service number – 144 – which operates 24 hours a day. They will provide first aid on the scene, then take you to the nearest medical facility.
However, for help with poisoning, you need to call the poison control hotline. The Austrian number for poisoning is 01 406 43 43.
Mental health services in Austria
In Austria, mental health is a serious concern. Because of this, the country has an emergency psychiatric hotline – 01 313 30. In addition, Austria has its own suicide prevention hotline. You can reach them at 01 713 3374.
For general mental health services, however, you can contact one of the services below:
- Praxispan – find a mental health expert that speaks your language and takes your insurance; 01 515 010
- Psyonline – access psychotherapists in your area
- Interventionsstelle Wien – provides free mental health support and counseling, and can assist in cases of domestic violence and stalking; 01 585 32 88
- RATaufDraht – a hotline for kids and teens
Drug and alcohol services in Austria
Austria has many drug and alcohol treatment centers. However, drug and alcohol addiction is not an emergency. In case of an overdose, you should call an ambulance service. Nevertheless, both Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous have chapters in Austria. These can be a good first stop for addiction.
Children, family, and youth services in Austria
Vienna’s Child and Youth Welfare Service protects young people in the city. However, the service provides many family services, too. They can be reached at 01 4000 80 11. However, this is not an emergency number.
There are also specific services for women, for example, the Vienna Women’s Affairs department. Because it works closely with women, the department has a female staff of lawyers, political scientists, social workers, psychologists, and other experts. In addition, they run a 24-hour emergency hotline for victims of domestic abuse; the number is 01 717 19.
Crime-related services in Austria
You should report crimes using the Austrian emergency number for the police. However, there are several other organizations that deal with other types of crime. This includes radicalization, cybercrime, and hate crimes.
For instance, Beratungsstelle (#GegenHassimNetz) is an Austria-wide counseling service that deals in cybercrimes, hate crimes, violent extremism, and cyberbullying. The hotline number is 01 236 5534.
In addition, parents who are worried that their child is at risk of being radicalized or displaying extremist tendencies can contact Beratungsstelle Estremismus (Boja). They can be reached at 0800 2020 44.
Utility and telecommunications services in Austria
Each city in Austria has an emergency number for its local public utility and telecommunications service. In general, for phone, internet, and electricity issues, you need to contact your service provider directly. However, you can report emergencies with public infrastructure to the local office.
Road and traffic emergency services in Austria
There is only one number for road and traffic emergencies in Austria: 120. This goes to the ÖAMTC, which deals with any incidents on Austrian roads.
Of course, if you are driving in Austria and come across a medical emergency, you should also call 112 or an ambulance.
Homelessness services in Austria
Austria has many protections in place to fight homelessness. As a result, Vienna has many safe houses for those who find themselves without shelter.
The Vienna Social Fund has 150 partner organizations to help the city’s residents with home care, disabilities, and homelessness. In addition, the fund has mother-child houses in Vienna so that families can stay together. Similarly, they can assist refugees in vulnerable situations. The organization’s number is 01 24 5 24 and it is active every day, from 08:00 to 20:00.
Part of the Catholic Church, Caritas Wien, also offers housing support in Vienna. It helps anyone, regardless of their social, religious, or ethnic background. To contact them, call 01 878 12 0.
Animal services in Austria
Austria has tough animal protection laws in place. Because of this, residents cannot engage in animal cruelty or kill animals. The animal welfare hotline in Austria is 01 4000 8060. You can also reach out to the Vienna Animal Welfare Society or the Austrian Animal Welfare Society for assistance.
Tourist services in Austria
Any tourist or foreigner that runs into problems while in Austria should call 112 or the appropriate emergency hotline. However, if you need to get in touch with your embassy while in Austria, you can find details on the Federal Ministry website.
Lost or stolen property in Austria
If you have lost something while in Austria, you may need to make some calls to report high-value items and cancel any cards. You may also need to make a report at the local police station.
If you have lost a bank or credit card, you will need to speak to your bank or credit card company. You can find the right number on the back of your card or on the company website.
If you have lost your passport or other government ID, you will need to report this to your local embassy. They will then issue temporary identification documents and help with getting you new ones.
European-wide emergency numbers
You can use the Europe-wide 112 number to report an emergency in Austria. However, it is often better to use the relevant Austrian emergency number, as the response time will be faster.
Emergency terms and phrases in Austria
Although English is widely spoken in Austria, it can be helpful to know a few emergency phrases in the local dialect, which is similar to German. With this in mind, here are a few phrases to have on hand:
- Help – Hilfe
- Police – Polizei
- Fire – Feuer
- Get a doctor – Holen Sei einen Arzt
- I am sick – Ich bin krank
- Emergency Services, City of Vienna – government site listing all the emergency services and numbers in Vienna
- Police, City of Vienna – government site explaining all the police services and contact information for Vienna
- Family Services, City of Vienna – government site for child and family services
- Women’s Services, City of Vienna – government site for women’s services
- Alcoholics Anonymous – Austrian site for the local AA police chapters
- Narcotics Anonymous – Austrian site for the local NA chapters
- City of Vienna – government site for homeless services
- Austrian Animal Welfare Society – site for the local animal protection services