Home Healthcare Healthcare Basics Emergency numbers in Switzerland
Last update on June 02, 2021
Stephen Maunder Written by Stephen Maunder

Do you know the emergency number in Switzerland? Find out this and more with our guide to Swiss services.

There are a range of emergency phone numbers in Switzerland for all manner of issues, from healthcare problems to embassy contacts, vets, and lost property. This guide contains advice on the following:

Emergency numbers in Switzerland

There are three main emergency services in Switzerland: the medical service, the police (Fedpol), and the fire service. In an emergency, call one of the following numbers from any telephone in Switzerland:

  • Police: 117
  • Fire service: 118
  • Medical service: 144

You can also use the pan-European emergency number (112) in any type of emergency in Switzerland. If you call this number, you’ll be put through to an operator who will then direct you to the appropriate emergency service.

Fire services in Switzerland

Most fire services in Switzerland are called Militia Fire Brigades (Miliz Feuerwehr). You can contact your local fire brigade in Switzerland at their emergency number: 118.

Fire brigade in Lucerne
A fire brigade in Lucerne

The Swiss government also advises that you follow these steps if you encounter a fire:

  • Raise the alarm: call the fire service on 118 and also warn any people who could be in danger.
  • Rescue others: rescue people as well as animals from areas that are on fire. Close windows and doors and then leave the scene of the fire using emergency exits. If the emergency exits cannot be used due to flames or smoke, stay in the room and wait by the window for the fire service to arrive.
  • Put out the fire: Fight the fire using suitable means (e.g., portable fire extinguisher, fire blankets). Indicate the source of the fire as soon as the fire service arrives.

Police in Switzerland

In Switzerland, you can contact the police on their emergency number (117) from any phone.

Police car in the mountains of Ticino
A police car in the mountains of Ticino

You can contact your regional police service in Switzerland using the following emergency numbers:

  • Swiss Federal Police: 058 463 1123 or online
  • Geneva regional police: 022 427 8111
  • Bern regional police: 031 634 4111
  • Basel regional police: 061 267 7111
  • Zurich regional police: 044 247 2211

The following tools from the Swiss government can also help you find police services in Switzerland:

Healthcare and accidents in Switzerland

If you need urgent medical help, call their emergency number (144) from any phone in Switzerland to speak with the emergency services. Visit your local hospital’s accident and emergency department (Notfalldienst in German, Urgences in French) or a specialist emergency clinic for more minor issues instead.

You can find details of the nearest out-of-hours doctor, dentist, or pharmacy by calling 111 or 144; you can also call 022 748 4950 for an emergency doctor. Each Swiss canton has an emergency pharmacy, as a matter of fact; further details for emergency pharmacies are available online. You can also find the address of your local first aid center.

For general medical issues in Switzerland, visit your own general practitioner (Doktor/Arzt/Médicin/Medico). Your doctor can offer you treatment or refer you to a specialist for further treatment. Learn even more about finding and registering with a Swiss doctor for more details.

Some other important healthcare phone numbers are the following:

  • Poison emergencies: 145
  • Vaccinations and advice for travelers: 0900 57 51 31 (Swiss travel clinic)
  • Rega Helicopter Rescue (Rettung mit Helikopter/Hélicoptèrs de sauvetage): 1414
  • Mountain Rescue (Air-Glaciers): 1415

Learn even more about the Swiss health service in our guide to healthcare in Switzerland.

Mental health services in Switzerland

Switzerland has, in fact, one of the best mental healthcare systems in Europe, with good provisions in terms of specialists and facilities. The first port of call for mental health issues is your doctor, who can prescribe any necessary medication or arrange further specialist treatment.

Mental healthcare services are available from specialist medical centers and clinics as well as from within hospitals. Some services (such as day treatment and visits from specialists) are included with basic health insurance. In addition, a range of private services are available.

  • Samaritans/Helping Hand (La main tendue/Die dargebotene Hand/Telefono amico): call 143 to speak to someone anonymously or you can also visit the 143 website.

Drug and alcohol services in Switzerland

  • Narcotics Anonymous (Narcotiques Anonymes): meetings are regularly available throughout Switzerland, although not all of the groups hold meetings in English. Call 0840 12 12 12 or find out even more online.
  • Alcoholics Anonymous: find local English-speaking meetings online.
  • Red Cross Geneva: call 022 304 04 04 (French only) or learn even more online.

Children, family, and youth services in Switzerland

  • Telephone support for children and teenagers (Ligne d’aide aux enfants et aux jeunes/Telefonhilfe für Kinder und Jugendliche/Linea per bambini e giovani): 147
  • Youth Counselling services: see online.
  • File a missing persons report: follow the steps from the government online.
  • Missing Children Switzerland: free emergency number for reporting missing children in French, German, Italian, as well as in English. Call 116 and also follow the government’s guidance.
  • Child abduction alerts: receive reports of missing children from the police.
  • Education hotline for those struggling with illiteracy: 0800 47 47 47 or learn even more online.

Utility and telecommunications services in Switzerland

For gas, water, and electricity emergencies in Switzerland, contact the local utility supplier in your canton.

  • Electricity suppliers: SIG (Geneva), EWZ (Zürich), WWZ (Zug)
  • Report a telephone fault (Enregistrements des dérangements/Störungsannahme/Accettazione guasti): call 175 or consult with Swisscom instead.

Road and traffic emergencies in Switzerland

Although driving in Switzerland is generally quite safe due to high-quality infrastructure and well-trained drivers, sometimes things can go awry on the high alpine roads.

Maloja Pass at night
Despite the great roads, driving along roads like the Maloja Pass at night can be risky if you’re unaccustomed to high alpine roads
  • Road emergency and breakdown service: 140
  • Traffic information and road conditions: 163
  • Car breakdown service (Touring Club of Switzerland): 140 or online (French and German only, however)
  • Transport Police (SBB): 0800 117 117

Find out even more in our guide to driving in Switzerland.

LGBTQ+ services in Switzerland

  • LGBT+ Helpline: free 24-hour helpline offering support for victims of homophobic or transphobic violence. Call 0800 133 133 or visit the website for even more support.
  • International Lesbian and Gay Association: find out even more about the Swiss branch online.
  • Pink Cross: umbrella group for gay and lesbian associations in Switzerland. Call 031 372 33 00 or go online.
  • LOS (Lesbenorganisation Schweiz): organization for lesbians in Switzerland. Find out even more online.

Homelessness services in Switzerland

  • Swiss Solidarity: appeal raising money for homeless people in Switzerland. Find out even more online.
  • Salvation Army: charity offering accommodation and night shelters for homeless people. Find out more online (in French only, however).

Animal services in Switzerland

  • Find an emergency vet: list of emergency vets (in German only, however)
  • University veterinary teaching hospitals: Geneva (0900 838 343), Zurich (044 635 8111), Basel (0900 838 343).
  • Swiss Animal Identity Service (ANIS): a registration database for pets. Find out more online. For dogs, visit Amicus.
  • Swiss Animal Protection (SAP): organization of 71 cantonal as well as regional animal protection societies. Find out even more online.

Tourist services in Switzerland

  • Immigration, travel, and consular information: call the government helpline on 0800 247 365 or 584 653 333 for further advice on consular services. You can also reach them at +41 800 247 365 when you are calling from abroad.
  • Ministry of Foreign Affairs: list of Swiss embassies and consulates
  • Swiss Federal Office for Migration (FOM): find out even more online.

Lost or stolen property in Switzerland

  • Lost or stolen property, documents, or passports: if you lose an item in a public place, make a report with the police or contact the lost property office in your local area; in fact, the Swiss government provides a brief guide for searching for the item and registering it with your municipality online. If you lose an item on public transport, contact the transport company directly or go via the SBB lost property office. You may need to pay a 10% reward to the person that returns the item, however. If you lose an item registered with the Easy Find lost property office, they get in touch with you automatically if someone hands in the lost item.
  • Lost and found pets: if you lose or find a pet, follow the government’s online guidance.
  • Lost bank cards: contact your bank or call the card provider: American Express (044 659 6903), Mastercard (0800 897 092), or Visa (0800 894 732).

European-wide emergency numbers

If you have an emergency anywhere else in Europe, you can call 112 to access emergency services. Calls to 112 are free and can also be made from any landline, payphone, or mobile phone.

What to do in an emergency in Switzerland

When you call an emergency number in Switzerland, follow these tips:

  • State your name, telephone number, the location where help is necessary, the situation and if it’s still ongoing, how many people require help, and whether there are weapons or dangerous substances involved.
  • Don’t forget the code to your parking lot or apartment building.
  • Never hang up until you are invited to do so.
  • If you have ongoing medical problems or regularly take prescription drugs, make sure you at least know how to say their names in French or German to the operator.
  • If you have children, mention their ages and how much they weigh (in kilograms) in case you need to call an anti-poison center or to administer medication.
  • In a situation where you’re dealing with intoxications, make sure to inform them of what was taken and also, if possible, give them the rest of what was consumed.

Other useful phone numbers in Switzerland

  • Swiss air rescue: contact REGA on 1414 or the Swiss air ambulance on +41 58 654 3980.
  • Avalanche and weather report: 187
  • Weather forecast: 162
  • Glacier emergencies: call 1415 or visit Air Glaciers.

General phone numbers

  • Talking clock (Horloge parlante/Sprechende Uhr/Ora esatta): 161
  • Weather report (Prévisions météorologiques/Wetterprognosen/Previsioni del tempo): 162
  • Road report (Etat des routes, informations sur la circulation routière/Strassenzustand, Verkehrsinformationen/Stato della strada, informazioni sul traffico): 163
  • Sports and lottery results (Résultats sportifs, chiffres gagnants, répartition des gains/Sportresultate, Gewinnzahlen und-quoten/Risultati sportivi, numeri vincenti, quote vincenti): 164

Inquiries and operators

  • Inquiries about Switzerland: 1811
  • International operator (Internationale Vermittlung/Commutation internationale/Commutazione internazionale): 1141
  • National operator for cellular phones: 1144
  • Austrian inquiries: 1151
  • German inquiries: 1152
  • French inquiries: 1153
  • Italian inquiries: 1154
  • International inquiries for other countries: 1159

Emergency terms and phrases in Switzerland

  • Police: Police/Polizei/Polizia
  • Fire brigadePompiers/Feuerwehr/Vigili del fuoco
  • Emergency services/ambulance: Ambulances/Sanität/Emergenza sanitaria
  • Poisoning emergency: Intoxication, appel d’urgence/Vergiftungs-Notfälle/Casi urgenti d’intossicazione
  • Road emergency services: Secours routiers/Strassenhilfe/Soccorso stradale
  • Emergency numbers: Numéros d’urgence/Notfallnummern/Numeri di emergenza

Useful resources