How do you call emergency services in Switzerland? The most important Swiss emergency number you need to know is 112. It’s the Swiss equivalent of 911 in the US and will connect you to a dispatch center for sending out the appropriate responders.
There are other Swiss emergency numbers you can use for more specific purposes, such as learning about local traffic conditions or receiving emergency mental-health services. We’ll go over a list of the most important and useful emergency numbers in Switzerland and explain how to place an emergency call in the country.
- Emergency services: 112
- Police: 117
- Fire services: 118
- Ambulance and healthcare emergencies: 144
- Mental health: 143
- Family and children: 147
- Traffic and travel: 140
- Victim support
- Consular services
- Loss and theft
1. Emergency services: 112
112 is the crucial emergency phone number you need to know. Calling 112 is synonymous with calling 911 in North America. Calling from Switzerland will connect you to an emergency control center. The operator on the line will put you through to the appropriate emergency service—most likely the police, fire services or medical services.
112 is the standard EU emergency number and also works outside Switzerland. It will work from any phone, including a foreign mobile phone, a phone with no credit or a locked smartphone.
2. Police: 117
Though you can dial 112 as well as 117 to connect to the Swiss police, you can also reach out to national police desks for less urgent matters. In Switzerland, the Federal Office of Police, or Fedpol for short, coordinates between the cantonal police corps. Each of the 26 Swiss cantons has its own police service, and they do not report to federal authorities.
- General police emergency number: 117 or 112
- Basel regional police: 061 267 7111
- Bern regional police: 031 634 4111
- Geneva regional police: 022 427 8111
- Zurich regional police: 044 247 2211
See the complete list of cantonal police contact information if the relevant canton isn’t represented above.
3. Fire services: 118
118 is the general emergency number for contacting local fire services in Switzerland.
4. Ambulance and healthcare emergencies: 144
The ambulance number in Switzerland is 144. Calling this number will connect you to a dispatch for urgent medical help. Other relevant numbers for emergency healthcare and rescue services include:
- Find an emergency doctor, dentist, or pharmacy: 111
- Poison emergencies: 145
- Health information for travelers: 0900 57 51 31
- Rega helicopter rescue: 1414
- Mountain rescue: 1415
- Red Cross Geneva: 022 304 04 04 (French)
5. Mental health: 143
You can call 143 for emergency mental-health counseling. Calling this number will connect you to a “helping hand” who can talk you through a mental-health crisis with full anonymity.
- “Helping hand” counseling helpline: 143 (CHF 0.20 per call)
- Narcotics Anonymous: 0840 12 12 12
- Alcoholics Anonymous: 0848 848 846
6. Family and children: 147
Children and teenagers can receive telephone support by calling the free number 147. Counseling is also available online.
- “Pro Juventute” helpline for children and teenagers: 147
- Missing Children Switzerland: 116
For pet emergencies, consult the list of emergency vets to find one in your canton or region.
- University veterinary hospital Basel: 0900 838 343
- University veterinary hospital Geneva: 0900 838 343
- University veterinary hospital Zurich: 044 635 8111
- Swiss Animal Protection: 61 365 99 99
8. Traffic and travel: 140
If you have an emergency on the road or need help with a car breakdown, you can call 140 for emergency services in Switzerland. However, you should also report an accident to the police by calling 112 or 117.
- Road emergency services: 140
- Traffic information and road conditions: 163
- SBB Transport Police: 0800 117 117
9. Victim support
In cases of domestic violence or hate crimes, you can call 112 or 117 to reach the police, or 144 for a medical emergency. There are a number of other helplines available to support victims:
- LGBTQ+ helpline for victims of homophobia and transphobia: 0800 133 133
- “Pink Cross” umbrella organization for gay & lesbian associations: 031 372 33 00
Victim Support Switzerland also maintains a list of emergency shelters for victims.
10. Consular services
You can call the helpline of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA) for consular services.
- FDFA helpline from Switzerland: 0800 247 365
- FDFA helpline from abroad: +41 800 247 365 or +41 58 465 33 33
11. Loss and theft
Your first point of contact for lost or stolen items is the local police station. You can also dial 117 for more help. Here are some helpful links and phone numbers:
- Online lost-and-found easyfind.ch
- Lost or stolen passport or identity card
- SBB Lost and Found Service
- Lost & Found Zurich Airport: +41 900 57 10 15
- Lost property office EuroAirport (info desk): 061 325 31 11
- Report lost pets: 0900 357 358
- Report found pets: 0848 357 358
- Lost payment cards: American Express (044 659 6903), Mastercard (0800 897 092), Visa (0800 894 732)
How to place an emergency call in Switzerland
When calling a Swiss emergency number, follow these steps depending on your case or emergency:
- Once you’re connected to an operator, introduce yourself by stating your full name and the phone number you’re calling from.
- Describe your situation as calmly and as clearly as you can. State the emergency, report your location or the location where help is required, and describe the ongoing situation or the emergency that has occurred. What has happened? Who is involved? Is there immediate danger? Are medical services required?
- Answer the operator’s questions and follow their advice or instructions.
- Give details on how the emergency services can reach the precise location. This can include details of your address, building, door code, GPS location or markers in nature.
- In case of poisoning or intoxication, give the age and weight of the victims, what they have taken or received, and how much.
- Stay on the line with the operator until they ask you to hang up or until emergency services arrive on the scene.
What you need to know about emergency phone numbers in Switzerland
112 is the most important emergency number in Switzerland because it can quickly connect you to vital emergency responders such as medical, police and fire services. This number works not only in Switzerland, but throughout the European Union. Note that abusing the emergency response system is a punishable offense.
Switzerland has three official languages on the national level: German, French, and Italian, with Romansh as a fourth national language being only official in part. While not all helplines are available in all languages, the generic emergency number 112 (as well as other three-digit numbers) are available in the three official languages. For less urgent cases, you can reach out to local police as well as a variety of institutions and helplines. Further information and services are also available online.