Dealing with emergency situations in Switzerland

Hello everybody,

Dealing with unexpected situations abroad can be a very difficult matter. In order to better help expats and soon-to-be expats in Switzerland face such tricky situations, we invite you to share your advice and experience.

What are the key emergency numbers you should know by heart?

In the event of a legal problem, an accident, a natural disaster, an injury or the death of a close family member, what are the first things to do in Switzerland?

What are the things to plan ahead in order to better cope with such unexpected situations (registration at the Embassy, transport, medical, comprehensive insurance for instance)?

If you have gone through such experiences in Switzerland, do not hesitate to share your story.

Thank you in advance!


I can tell you from first hand experience that you'd better have the correct emergency numbers programed into your phone. The day before Christmas 2015, I had a heart attack. Fortunately my partner was home from his studies in London and he's a doctor. If he hadn't been here I would have called the ambulance...but it would never have come as I had the wrong number programed in the cell phone.
So...Ambulance - 144
Fire - 118
Police - 117
Poison - 145
Calling any of the above numbers will be able to connect you to any of the emergency services. It will just take a little longer. Make sure you have the correct number!
Emergency Road Service - 140
Helicopter Air Rescue - Rega 1414
                                    - Air-Glaciers 1415
The helping hand - If you are having problems, feeling vulnerable or just need someone to talk to 143
Telephone support for children and kids - 147

Along with the above, you should have your embassy number known or programed as well as your attorney should you have one. If you have an emergency contact keep it where it can easily be found should you not be able to communicate. I keep mine in the front window of my wallet. With this information I also have my blood type listed as well as my medical allergies. I keep that information along with a list of medications in my phone also which can be accessed even if the phone is locked.

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