Emergencies and advice

What constitutes an emergency and what should I do?

An emergency is a life-threatening situation. Most public hospitals have an accident and emergency department that is open 24 hours. It is, however, intended for serious cases.


If there is an emergency concerning a person near you (e.g. an accident), it is extremely important for you to give first aid to maintain important bodily functions such as consciousness, breathing and circulation. You can attend a course to learn what to do.


Emergency numbers for Switzerland can be reached 24/7


  • Emergency number (police, fire brigade, ambulance): 112
  • Police: 117
  • Fire brigade (fire, water, gas): 118
  • Ambulance: 144
  • Swiss Air Rescue (REGA; rescue helicopter): 1414
  • Poisoning (toxicological information centre): 145
  • Telephone assistance for children and young people: 147
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Code of conduct in an emergency

  • Stay calm
  • Review the situation What has happened? Who is affected?
  • Recognise the danger
  • Get yourself, the victims of the accident and other involved parties to safety
  • Alert the emergency services 144 or 112
  • Give first aid
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Emergency medical aid – Emergency number 144 or 112

Your call will be taken by a qualified dispatcher. Depending on the message, all the necessary emergency services (ambulance, doctor, rescue helicopter, police and/ or fire brigade) will be alerted immediately.

The telephone number 144 or 112 can be dialled from public telephones, fixed line and mobile connections free of charge and without an area code.


The following information is important for the emergency services switchboard


  • Your name and your telephone in case they need to phone you back.
  • A brief description of what has happened.
  • Precise details of the site of the accident. Place, street, house number.
  • How many patients there are.
  • Condition of the patient: Is he or she conscious? Is the patient breathing?
  • When did the incident happen?


Do not finish the call until the dispatcher has confirmed that he has initiated the corresponding measures.

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