…When the work of the Rescue Team is done, the sad job of identifying the bodies begins…

Horst Engel, IDKO BKA


Various catastrophes in recent years have proven the absolute need for specialized teams of experts within the framework of a well-organized structure to manage and overcome the effects of disasters.

After the plane crash in Stadlerberg (1990), the sect drama Salvan/Cheiry (1994), Terror attack in Luxor (1997), the plane crash in Halifax (1998), the canyoning accident in Wilderswil (1999), the plane crash in Nassenwil (2000), the amok shooting in Zug (2001), the traffic accident in the Gotthard tunnel (2001), the plane crash in Bassersdorf (2001) and Tsunami in Asia (2004), Switzerland has become particularly aware that such tragic events can easily occur in our country.

The identification of disaster victims in such cases is often an extremely difficult task requiring the highest standards for the responsibles of our DVI-Team, especially when the catastrophe occurs in a foreign country and the cooperation of various nations is necessary.It is no coincidence that INTERPOL have been involved in the task of disaster victim identification for many years.


Several years ago INTERPOL imposed the recommendation that member countries should have a team of DVI specialists at their disposal to be able to assist the on-site teams with the identification of their own respective national subjects. Most INTERPOL member countries have recognized the necessity and advantages and have founded their own DVI teams. 

During the 90's, based on INTERPOL's recommendations, the Police Commanders of the Swiss cantons (KKPKS) formed a workgroup to establish the structure of a DVI team. In 2000, at the Police Commanders conference, the project was approved and the DVI team was founded in it's present form. Since the 1st of January 2001 even Switzerland has his own DVI-Team.

Principality of Liechtenstein

The Principality of Liechtenstein became an official associate member of the Swiss DVI team in 2002 and can subsequently contribute to and profit from it's service end the event of a catastrophe.