What number do you call in an emergency in Switzerland? Here’s a guide to emergency numbers and helplines in Switzerland, plus useful numbers for advice, lost property and general enquiries.
Unlike in other countries, Switzerland has different emergency numbers for each emergency service – such as ambulance, fire and police – rather than a single emergency number to contact all emergency services at once. The pan-European emergency number 112, however, can be called for any type of emergency, after which an operator will direct you to the appropriate local Swiss emergency service.
Some important Swiss emergency terms (in French, German, Italian):
- Police: Police / Polizei / Polizia
- Fire brigade: Pompiers / Feuerwehr / Vigili del fuoco
- Emergency services/ambulance: Ambulances / Sanität / Emergenza sanitaria
- Posioning 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
Dialling codes for Switzerland
The country dialling code for Switzerland is 0041 if calling from abroad; you remove the first zero of the local Swiss number first.
If calling a 0900 or 0901 additional call charges typically apply, while 0800 are toll-free. When dialling a business number, the same fee applies nationwide for numbers beginning in 0842, 0844 or 0848, while regional call charges apply to business numbers starting with 058. Cellular phone numbers typically start with 076, 078 and 079.
When making a general emergency call from abroad, you can use the following dialling code: 0041 848 800 xxx (eg. 1811 or 140). You can also find any address or phone number online at www.local.ch.
Swiss app ECHO 112–First Responder can also be used in emergencies to locate the nearest medically trained volunteer who can administer first aid.
Pan-European emergency number: 112
The general emergency number for any situation in Switzerland, and across Europe, is 112. The operator will typically speak a number of languages.
You can also contact your local emergency police in Switzerland:
- Swiss Federal Police: 058 463 1123
- Geneva regional police: 022 427 8111
- Bern regional police: 031 634 4111
- Basel regional police: 061 267 7111
- Zurich regional police: 044 247 2211
- Find you local police in Switzerland.
- Find an international police desk in Switzerland.
Ambulance and emergency services: 144
For non-urgent treatment, you should call your doctor; if out-of-hours, an answering machine will detail the closest on-call clinic. You can also visit Accident and Emergency (A&E) (Notfalldienst/Urgences) at any hospital. In French-speaking Switzerland special emergency clinics handle minor casualties (Pikett-Dienst/Permanence). Even in emergencies you may have to show proof of health insurance before treatment, so be sure to bring identification and your health card.
Poison emergencies: 145
Out-of-hours clinics in Switzerland: Call 111 or 144 to find the nearest out-of-hours emergency doctors, dentists, vets and pharmacies in Switzerland.
Emergency doctors: 022 748 4950 | www.sos-medecins.ch
Emergency pharmacy and first aid: Each canton also has an emergency pharmacy, with contact information here. You can also find your local first aid centre here by entering your postcode at the bottom of the page.
Online diaster alert service: Alertswiss provides information on floods, nuclear accidents and earthquakes in French, German and Italian. A ‘terror app’ is also planned for 2017–2018.
Avalanche and weather report: 187 | 161.300 MHz (emergency channel in case of avalanche).
Glaciar emergencies: Air Glaciers 1415
GPS-location web emergency call: Echo112 provides a free app that sends your location and contacts the appropriate emergency services at the push of a button.
Telephone support for children and teenagers: 147 (Ligne d’aide aux enfants et aux jeunes / Telefonhilfe für Kinder und Jugendliche / Linea per bambini e giovani)
Child abduction alerts: By registering, the police send missing reports to all registered members in the hope of reaching a wider audience to locate a missing child.
The organisation Missing Children Switzerland (MCS) also runs a 24/7 free emergency number 116 000 for reporting missing children (in English, French, German, and Italian).
The Helping Hand samaritans: Call 143 (La main tendue/ Die dargebotene Hand / Telefono amico) for an anonymous crisis line, whether for victims of abuse, suicide support and more.
Education hotline for those struggling with illiteracy: 0800 47 47 47 is a free number to provide advice on education options under the campaign ‘Simply Better‘.
Embassies and Consulates: Check the Ministry of Foreign Affair’s list of embassies and consulates in Switzerland.
Immigration, travel and consular information: FDFA Helpline 0800 247 365 or 584 653 333 for advice on a range of consular services, plus an app for travel security information | From abroad: +41 800 247 365 or +41 584 653 333
Lost or stolen property, documents or passport: You will need to make a report to the police. Find you local police in Switzerland.
Vaccinations and advice for travellers: 0900 57 51 31 (Swiss travel clinic)
Gas, water and electricity emergencies: contact the local utility supplier in your canton.
Telephone faults: 175 (Enregistrements des dérangements / Störungsannahme / Accettazione guasti)
Emergency vet: Find a list of emergency vets (in German) or call the university veterinary teaching hospital (Tierspital) in your city | Geneva 0900 838 343 | Basel 0900 99 33 99 | Zurich 044 635 8111.
File a missing persons report: Follow the steps here.
Numbers for useful services in Switzerland
- Talking clock: 161 (Horloge parlante / Sprechende Uhr / Ora esatta)
- Weather report: 162 (Prévisions météorologiques / Wetterprognosen / Previsioni del tempo)
- Road report: 163 (Etat des routes, informations sur la circulation routière / Strassenzustand, Verkehrsinformationen /Stato della strada, informazioni sul traffico)
- Sports and lottery results: 164 (Résultats sportifs, chiffres gagnants, répartition des gains / Sportresultate, Gewinnzahlen und-quoten / Risultati sportivi, numeri vincenti, quote vincenti)
- Regional information: 1600
- Automated wake-up call: Dial 0900 77 hh mm, with hh being the hour you want to wake up and mm being the minutes; for example, to wake up at 8:15, dial 0900 77 0815 (Service automatique de réveil / Automatischer Weckdienst / Servizio automatico di sveglia).
General inquiries and phone operators
For phone numbers and general inquiries (Renseignements / Auskunft / Informazioni) on a range of topics, from travel to medical centers, you can call the following numbers.
- Inquiries about Switzerland: 1811
- International operator: 1141 (Internationale Vermittlung / Commutation internationale / Commutazione internazionale)
- National operator for cellular phones: 1144
- Austrian inquiries: 1151
- German inquiries: 1152
- French inquiries: 1153
- Italian inquiries: 1154
- International inquiries for other countries: 1159