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Emergency Services?
(originally published in the September 2009 issue of Expat In Switzerland)

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Having experienced two mini emergencies, well, at least reason to call emergency services, twice this year I became acutely aware of how little attention I had given to memorising the emergency service telephone numbers here in Switzerland. Do you know them? Hopefully you’ll never need them, but you just never know do you?

One Saturday evening at the beginning of this year I broke a rib – a truly excruciating experience – I didn’t realise the extent of my injury at the time but approximately 12 hours later, early on the Sunday morning, when I couldn’t even sit-up in bed, let alone get-up without screaming out, my husband called the doctor. “Call an ambulance” the doctor said, “she needs to be checked for lung perforation”. Call an ambulance? Gosh that’s dramatic! Now, what was that number?

A few months later, driving my son along a busy, bendy road to a football match we were suddenly confronted with a pony meandering from one side of the road to the other. The speed limit was 80 KM and the traffic was whizzing round the bends at full speed. Pulling over at the next small-holding to see if the pony belonged there we found there was no one at home and decided to call the police as a pile-up looked inevitable. I had my mobile phone at the ready – but what’s the number? Correctly interpreting my hesitation my son piped up “quick mummy, its 117”. Kids know these things!

I am very happy to report that we haven’t had reason to call the Fire brigade - ever - and I hope that will always remain true, but what is that number should I ever have to?

Police – 117

Fire brigade – 118

Ambulance – 144

I was reassured to hear that you will be put through to the correct service upon request if you should dial the wrong one. So if you can only commit one of them to memory you are still in a good position to get some help in an emergency.

Whilst double checking that the Fire brigade emergency number is actually 118 for this piece (I have after all never had to dial it) I stumbled across the English version of the County of Zug Police Department’s website – www.zug.ch/foreign-languages/english - there is some really useful general information about living in Switzerland in there as well as a more extensive list of emergency service telephone numbers (e.g. Poisoning emergencies – 145). I sincerely hope you’ll never need to use any of them- but you just never know do you?

Fortunately, no emergencies at the studio. An updated version of the Foto eMotion website will be going live any day now – why not take a peek?

Linda Atschreiter Linda is a regular contributor to the ExpatInCH.com newsletter and runs the Foto eMotion photographic studio in Zug. See www.foto-emotion.ch for more information.

Foto eMotion photography studio in Zug capturing the spirit of your family

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