[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Monday, 24 September 2007, 17:20 GMT 18:20 UK
Swiss firefighters turn rap stars
Swiss firefighter
The firefighters suggest writing their number in your undies

Firefighters in Switzerland have released a rap video to spread the word about their emergency phone number.

A group of young Geneva firefighters decided to film the clip to end public confusion between their number, 118, and new directory assistance hotlines.

The "118 Projec't" video features fighters from four local Swiss brigades - some sporting hot pants - dancing and rapping to hip hop beats.

Since its release, it has become a hit on YouTube, even sparking remix clips.

Underpants advice

In December 2006, the Swiss directory assistance hotline was changed to a series of four-digit numbers all starting with 18, while the firefighters' number, 118, was unchanged.

They chose rap because it is spoken and not sung, because clearly they are not singers
Lt-Gen Raymond Wicky
Geneva fire service

But there was very little public information about the changes from the Swiss government or phone companies, the firefighters say.

Across the border in France the directory assistance number is also 118, making the situation more confusing.

The firefighters say they received an average of 20 calls a day from members of the public seeking directory information between May and July 2007.

Concerned by the potentially tragic results of such interruptions, five young firefighters decided to promote their emergency number - as well as those of the police (117) and ambulance service (144) - in a rap song.

"They chose rap because it is spoken and not sung, because clearly they are not singers," Lt-Gen Raymond Wicky, from the Geneva fire service, told the BBC News website.

The song includes the lines "118, au cas ou tu flippes/ 118, inscrit-le dans ton slip" (118, in case you freak out/118, write it in your undies).

'Goat-free roads made me speed'
07 Sep 06 |  Americas
Country profile: Switzerland
29 Dec 06 |  Country profiles

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific