If you find yourself in an emergency situation, the only thing that can help is an emergency number. But what exactly is an emergency and what emergency numbers are there? The question is not easy to answer, as everyone interprets an emergency for themselves. Because there is a small but crucial difference between an emergency call and an emergency. Here you can find everything about emergencies in Switzerland.
The most important emergency numbers in Switzerland
- General emergency number: 112
- Police: 117
- Fire brigade: 118
- Ambulance service: 144
What exactly is an emergency?
The first question that naturally arises is what actually counts as an emergency in Switzerland. After all, there are many different situations that also give rise to an emergency. We are not only talking about people, but also animals or things. Animals and things can cause an emergency in the same way as people. For example, there are always situations where cats or dogs get stuck in sewers. But there have also been many other absurd situations involving animals.
Even if, for example, your car suddenly stops and you can’t get any further, this is an emergency. Of course, it depends on the circumstances. Are you in the middle of town or in the middle of nowhere? Or can you still get the car safely into a parking space or are you standing in the middle of the road? In emergencies, it always depends on the individual situation.
But an emergency is not automatically an emergency. An emergency is a matter of interpretation. While one person may perceive it as an emergency, another may not. The most important consideration here is that of the police, the fire brigade and the ambulance service. However, so that in minor emergencies the emergency number is not dialled unnecessarily, there are now a large number of emergency numbers for each corresponding emergency. For example, there is a veterinary or pharmacy emergency number.
We have compiled an overview of the most important emergency numbers:
- Roadside assistance: 140
- Avalanche bulletin: 187
- Children and youth emergency call: 147
- Telephone pastoral care: 143
- Poisoning: 145
- Emergency pharmacies: Here is a breakdown by canton! The most important emergency numbers are listed here.
- Animal rescue service: 044 211 22 22
- Offered Hand: 143
What to do in an emergency?
The next important question is what to do or how to behave in an emergency. Here, too, it always depends on the situation, but the most important rule is always: stay calm! In emergency situations, staying calm is the most important thing so that everything else can go smoothly. Then you should dial the appropriate emergency number and clearly describe the situation.
As a rule, certain queries are made at the respective emergency centre so that the centre can get a clear picture of the situation. In addition, as much information as possible is advantageous. Then the emergency centre can plan the next steps and help you in the best possible way.
After the telephone call to the emergency centre, it is still important to remain calm and to make other people aware of you. Here again, however, it depends on the emergency situation. Nevertheless, any further help is appreciated. Sometimes it is enough to just ask someone for help to calm yourself down.
Next to the police and the fire brigade, the emergency number of the ambulance service is one of the most important emergency numbers in Switzerland. 144 is the central point of contact for medical emergencies. In 1999, the emergency number 144 replaced the regional emergency numbers and has since become a permanent fixture for people in medical distress. So if you dial 144 in an emergency in Switzerland, you will get through to the local emergency call centre. Here, too, it is always important to stay calm and describe the situation!
The emergency call centre is always staffed by personnel trained with medical knowledge. This means that the staff can then decide for themselves how urgent an emergency call is and can thus prioritise the emergency calls. For example, if the call is about a heart attack, the person concerned will naturally need help more urgently than someone with a broken arm. If the emergency call is a less important emergency, the emergency centre forwards the call accordingly or refers to another telephone number.
But 112 is also a common emergency number that is often dialled. The reason for this is that 112 is a Europe-wide emergency number. This means that 112 is very well known across borders and is the central point of contact for all emergencies, while 114 is intended for medical emergencies. 112 is also available in Switzerland, even if Switzerland is not an official member of the European Union. So if you are not sure of the emergency number, dial 112 if in doubt.
The alternative to the emergency number
But it is not only with the telephone that you can ask for help in an emergency. Since we are in the digital age, there are now enough alternatives, such as our TarisApp. With our emergency call app, you can dial the emergency number and ask for help from medical personnel in the vicinity at the same time. This way, medical professionals in the vicinity can quickly provide first aid and thus save lives.
Did you know that it takes an average of 15 minutes for the emergency services to arrive at the scene? In a medical emergency, 15 minutes can be an eternity. Would you like to learn more about our emergency call app? You can find out more right here.
Note: Our TarisApp is mainly designed for medical emergencies
- Make an emergency call: In these situations, an emergency call is important!
- Emergency call Switzerland: What you need to know in Switzerland!
- The First Aid ABC and ABCDE: What’s behind them?
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Picture credits: ©Envatoelements