Who to call and what to say in an emergency in Austria

Hayley Maguire
Hayley Maguire - [email protected] • 13 Apr, 2022 Updated Wed 13 Apr 2022 12:42 CEST
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Who you need to call in an emergency in Austria. (Photo by ALEX HALADA / AFP)

Just in case you have an emergency in Austria, here are the numbers to call and some of the phrases you might need to use.

Whether you live in Austria or are just visiting, knowing who to call in the case of an emergency is crucial to keeping you and those around you safe.

You can report anything on 112, the single European emergency number, whose operators will direct you to the relevant services. This number can even be called on a locked mobile phone without needing the pin.

But knowing the direct number to call within Austria could get you a faster response in a situation where time is critical.

Here are the main phone numbers you’ll need to report an emergency in Austria.

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What is Austria’s equivalent of 999 or 911?

In some countries there is one general number for emergencies, like 999 in the UK or 911 in the USA. The operators will then transfer to the relevant department (fire, police, ambulance) depending on the emergency.

In Austria though, there is not a general phone number to call. Instead there are three different numbers for each key emergency service.

Then there are additional phone numbers for specific emergencies, such as a gas leak, poisoning or mountain rescue.

Before we get into the details of specific emergency services, here are some common questions the emergency operator could ask in Austria:

What is the emergency? – Was ist der Notfall?

What happened? – Was passiert ist?

Can you give me the address? – Können Sie mir die Adresse geben?

What is the number for the fire brigade in Austria?

To reach the fire service (Feuerwehr), dial 122

In Austria’s main cities of Vienna, Graz, Salzburg and Innsbruck, the fire service is run by full time staff, but in more rural areas the Feuerwehr is made up of volunteer teams.

The fire service also fills the gap for other emergency services (if needed), for example for the police and ambulance services. Plus, they are responsible for fighting forest fires and assisting during other emergencies, like flooding.

Useful phrases

Fire! – Feuer!

Call the fire brigade – Rufen Sie die Feuerwehr / Die Feuerwehr rufen

There’s a fire – Es gibt ein Feuer

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What is the number for the police in Austria?

To reach the police (Polizei), dial 133.

Examples of when you might need to call the police are after a burglary or mugging, witnessing an assault or if you feel in danger.

Useful phrases

Help! – Hilfe!

Call the police – Rufen Sie die Polizei / Die Polizei rufen

Can anyone here speak English? – Kann hier jemand Englisch sprechen?

There has been an accident – Es hat einen Unfall gegeben

Someone has stolen my bag/wallet/phone – Jemand hat meine Tasche/Wallet/Handy gestohlen

Please hurry – Bitte beeilen / Bitte schnell sein

What is the number for the ambulance service in Austria?

To call an ambulance (Krankenwagen or Rettungswagen) in Austria, dial 144

The ambulance service in Austria is trained to provide emergency medical care at the scene before transporting people to hospital.

However, if you need an emergency doctor but not an ambulance, call 141.

Useful phrases

Call an ambulance – Einen Krankenwagen rufen

I need a doctor – Ich brauche einen Arzt

Take me to the emergency room – Bring mich in die Notaufnahme

Some people are badly injured – Einige Menschen sind Schwer verletzt

He/she hit his/her head – Er/sie hat sich den Kopf gestossen

He/she is unconscious – Er/sie ist bewusstlos

He/she isn’t breathing – Er/sie atmet nicht

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Who should I call if I need roadside assistance?

In Austria there are two main breakdown assistance services - ÖAMTC and ARBÖ. They are similar to the AA in the UK and the AAA in the USA.

Both organisations offer 24-hour emergency roadside assistance to anyone in Austria, but non-members have to pay a fee.

For ÖAMTC emergency breakdown service call 120.

For ARBÖ emergency breakdown service call 123.

There are also SOS phones located along Austrian motorways in the event of an emergency.

Useful phrases

My car won’t start – Mein Auto springt nicht an

I’ve run out of fuel – Ich habe kein Benzin mehr

I have a flat tyre – Ich habe eine Reifenpanne

Smoke is coming from the engine – Rauch kommt aus dem Motor

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Other numbers for emergency services in Austria

Here are the phone numbers for additional emergency services in Austria.

Gas emergency - 128

Mountain rescue - 140

Crisis hotline - 142

Emergency services for children and young people - 147

Poison centre - 01 406 43 43 

Animal welfare (Vienna) - 01 4000 8060

Women’s emergency hotline (Vienna) - 01 717 19

Emergency services for the deaf or hard of hearing - 0800/133 133 (SMS, FAX)

For more information about the emergency services in Austria, visit the federal government website or the City of Vienna website.

If in doubt…

If you’re not sure who to speak to, call 112. You’ll be connected to the Universal European Emergency Services, who can direct you to the correct line. 

The number is available free of charge everywhere in the EU from all phones, including mobiles, and you can call it even without credit or a valid SIM card. 

Assistance is available in multiple languages, including English.

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Hayley Maguire 2022/04/13 12:42

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