Have you recently moved, or are you planning to move to Switzerland? Well, if that’s the case, then you need to take the first steps to ensure your stay there is safe. Having the emergency numbers of the country you’re living in is crucial because you never know when you might need them. Keep reading this article to learn more about Switzerland’s emergency services and their respective websites where you can find more information.
Emergency Numbers in Switzerland
Below we have compiled a list of emergency numbers in Switzerland, anything from protecting human beings’ physical and mental health to their properties such as their pets, important documents, assets, etc.
Police services in Switzerland
If you’re in an emergency and need to contact the police in Switzerland to report a crime or ask for help, you should dial the number 112. This is the most important emergency number not only in Switzerland but in Europe too. When dialing 112, you will immediately be connected to the police emergency control center. You can also call this number with a foreign SIM card or if you’re using a prepaid mobile phone card that has no credit.
Healthcare and accident services in Switzerland
When you arrive in Switzerland, if you’re planning on living there, it is recommended that you register with a general practitioner so that you have a professional to call in case you fall ill. Before any medical appointment, you will be asked for your insurance details. In case of a medical emergency, the ambulance number to call in Switzerland is 144.
Fire services in Switzerland
Most fire emergency services in Switzerland are called Miliz Feuerwehr or Militia Fire Brigades. The emergency number to call firefighters in Switzerland is 118.
The Swiss government advises its citizens on how to proceed in cases of a fire emergency. First and foremost, warn any people who could be in danger after calling the emergency number. Second, you should close the doors and windows and leave the scene using the emergency exits. If you cannot pursue them due to the smoke or flames, stay in the room and wait for the fire services to arrive by the window. And lastly, try to put out the fire with fire blankets or portable fire extinguishers.
Mental health services in Switzerland
Fortunately, Switzerland has one of the best mental healthcare systems in Europe, with many specialists and facilities at your service. The first person to call in a mental health crisis is your doctor; they can prescribe medication and advise you further on your treatment. There is also the Samaritans/Helping Hand service, which you can call on the number 143 to speak anonymously to someone, or you can even visit the 143 website for information.
Drug and alcohol services in Switzerland
There are three important numbers and services to help you or someone in any drug or alcohol-related crisis in Switzerland. The first number 0840 12 12 12, is for Narcotics Anonymous; they hold meetings regularly throughout Switzerland (not all of them are in English). You can also find online Alcoholics Anonymous to find English-speaking meetings. And last but not least, Red Cross Geneva 022 304 04 04. You can learn more about all of these services online and be assisted further.
Children, family, and youth services in Switzerland
- The number to call for telephone support for teenagers and children in Switzerland is 147.
- For any youth counseling services, please visit this website.
- If you need to file a missing person’s report in Switzerland, visit this website, where the government will help you step by step on how to do so.
- If you need to report a missing child in Switzerland, call the number 116. They speak English, French, Italian, and German.
- If you need to receive reports from the police for any missing child, visit this website.
- And for those struggling with illiteracy, there is an education hotline you can call: 0800 47 47 47.
Road and traffic emergencies services in Switzerland
Due to well-trained drivers and the high-quality infrastructure in Switzerland, driving there is generally safe. However, there might be some dangerous accidents on the high alpine roads. Call the number 140 in any road or breakdown emergencies. For any road conditions and traffic information, call the number 163.
Utility and telecommunications services in Switzerland
If you have any water, gas, or electricity emergencies in Switzerland, you should contact the local utility supplier. You can find the electricity suppliers in Geneva, Zurich, and Zug on their websites. If you need to report a telephone fault, call the number 175.
LGBTQ+ services in Switzerland
If you need to report any violence directed at a member of the LGBTQ+ community in Switzerland, call 0800 133 133. This is a free 24-hour helpline that offers support for victims. You can also call the police emergency number 112 to report a crime of any nature.
Homelessness services in Switzerland
For homelessness services in Switzerland, two organizations can help. The first one is Swiss Solidarity which raises money for homeless people in Switzerland; you can find more information on their website. The second one is Salvation Army, a charity that offers night shelters and accommodation for homeless people. You can find out more information on their website.
Animal services in Switzerland
For animal services in Switzerland, you can find a list of emergency vets on this website. For any information regarding animal identity, you can visit this website to reach the Swiss Animal Identity Service, which is a registration database for pets in Switzerland. And, for any animal protection services, visit this website to find out more information.
Services for foreign nationals in Switzerland
For services regarding foreign nationals in Switzerland, the Swiss government has a special helpline at 0800 247 365, or you can call 584 653 333 for any advice on consular services. If you are calling from abroad, you can also reach them at the number +41 800 247 365. Visit EmbassyPages for a comprehensive list of consulates and embassies in Switzerland.
Lost or stolen property, documents, or passports in Switzerland
If you happen to lose an important item in Switzerland, you should contact the police 112 or the lost property office in your local area. The Swiss government provides a brief guide to help you search for your lost item and register it with your municipality on this website.
If you lose an item on public transport, you can either contact the transport company directly or visit the SBB lost property office website. If you find or lose a pet, visit this website for more information on how to proceed. In case you lose your credit card, either call the bank or the card provider: Mastercard (0800 897 092), American Express (044 659 6903), or Visa (0800 894 732).
Other Useful Phone Numbers in Switzerland
In such cases where you might need them, here are some other useful phone numbers to save if you live in Switzerland:
- Avalanche and weather report: 187,
- Swiss air rescue: you can contact REGA on 1414 or the Swiss air ambulance on the number +41 58 654 3980,
- For weather forecast: call 162,
- For glacier emergencies: call the number 1415 or visit Air Glaciers.
What To Do In An Emergency in Switzerland
If you call an emergency number in Switzerland, here are some helpful tips to keep in mind:
- First, state your name, the location where help is necessary, telephone number, the situation, the number of people needing help, and if there are weapons or dangerous substances involved.
- Do not hang up the phone unless you are told to do so.
- Remember the code to your parking lot and apartment building.
- If you regularly take prescription drugs or have ongoing medical problems, make sure to know how to say their names in German or French to the operator.
- If you have children, you should mention their ages and weight in kilograms in case you need to call an anti-poison service or administer medication.
- If you’re dealing with intoxications, make sure to report to them what was taken.
The Bottom Line
These are just some of the important numbers to remember when you’re living in Switzerland. All of these phone numbers are there to help protect people or their valued properties. If you have an issue that you need help with, make sure to call one of the numbers that best relates to your situation.