An island with a population of approx. 2,400 that swells to an absolute maximum of 6,000 with seasonal workers and visitors during the high season, Hydra doesn't justify the level of emergency services that a large town on the mainland would. However, for such a tiny island, Hydra does have a lot more than you might expect.
Hydra Emergency Number: 199
International Emergency & Rescue: 112
1) Local Fire Station: +(30) 22980 53199
2) Coastguard (Port Police): +(30) 22980 52279
3) Police (Tourist/Island): +(30) 22980 52205
4) Hospital +(30) 22980 53150 & 53151
5) GP & First Aid: +(30) 22980 52420 & 29720
6) Pharmacy Mr Gavalas: +(30) 22980 53260
7) Pharmacy Mr Rafalias: +(30) 22980 52059
8) Dentist Mr Zervos: +(30) 22980 52566
9) Dentist Mr Grigoropoulos: +30) 22980 53431
10) Looking Good Opticians: +(30) 22980 29646
For Hikers & Walkers
It is vital, especially if you are out in the countryside alone, for you to have the international emergency 112 number programmed into your phone. If you get lost, especially in the heat of the summer, you should phone this number so that the emergency services can pinpoint your location and can come and rescue you. Don't wait until you collapse, everyone would rather help you to walk down rather than to have to retrieve you! (the 112 and 199 numbers work regardless of whether you can get a signal or not, and even if you have no credit on your phone.)
Please also note that the 199 number goes straight through to the volunteer fire department on Hydra, which is manned 24/7 year round. The volunteers help to coordinate in emergencies in case of fire or if someone gets lost or becomes ill out in the countryside and even helps with accidents at sea. The phone is always answered within a couple of rings and they have people there who can speak English. - It is very reassuring to know we have such a good team on the island.
In case of emergency please call hospital first, the nurse will get a doctor to you or arrange collection and if necessay boat or air evacuation to hospital on the mainland.
First Aid Centre with a doctor on hand for non-emergency illness, cuts & scratches etc. For European Citizens there is no charge for the services given to visitors who need to attend. All of the doctors speak English and many have a couple of other languages. So communication is easy.
Emergecy Helicopter: One of Hydra's much appreciated benefactors provides the island with a medical emergency helicopter that can be used by the hospital in dire emergencies.
There are two dental practices on Hydra. Mr P Zervos lives and has a full time practice on the island and is happy to take emergency patients. Mr Grigoropoulos has a part-time surgery and specialises in cosmetic dentistry. You need to make an appointment to see either dentist but in an emergency such as a broken tooth or a filling that needs replacing, Mr Zervos is probably the first person to call.
There are two pharmacies on the island both of which can give you advice and are able to dispense drugs. If they don't hold the particular medicine you require, it can normally be brought to Hydra within 24 hours which is useful if you forget to bring your medicine with you! Normal hours Monday - Saturday 08:30-14:00, 18:00 - 20:00. Out of hours the pharmacies take it in turns to be open.
The Police on Hydra are known as the Tourist Police, to differentiate between the Port Police. The Tourist Police deal with any problems you encounter including theft of belongings while you're on the island or to report a crime, etc. This is where you need to go to report animal abuse and you must visit here to report lost passports, etc.
The Hellenic Coastguard are known locally on Hydra as the Port Police have jurisdiction over the boats and comings and goings of the harbour. And obvioulsy if anyone gets into difficulty on the sea or beaches, the Port Police are who you need to call. They also control the sea taxis, port mules and beach boats.
Which police station to go to causes even local Hydriot's a bit of confusion at times. If it is a problem on the sea, then it's the Hellenic Coastguard's responsibility (Port Police). It is also their responsiblity to deal with any problems arising on the harbour front. As soon as you step off the harbour, then the problem falls under the jurisdiction of the Police (Tourist or Town Police). As an example, let's say you are sitting outside one of the port cafes and you have a dispute with someone sitting at the table next to you, or your belonging were stolen, while you are outside - then it is the Port Police (Hellenic Coastguard) who has jurisdiction. But if you are inside the cafe and the problem arises, then you are off the harbour and it becomes an issue for the (Tourist) Police.
Throughout Greece, especially in the height of summer, fire is a major concern. Hydra does have a volunteer fire brigade that is manned 24/7 and they a fire truck but this isn't effective if a fire breaks out at the top of the mountains as there are no roads! If it's impossible to reach with the fire truck, the volunteers and many locals who always help, have to run and manually throw buckets of water and take action to put the fire out with none of the aids that most places take for granted. If a fire can't be contained and dealt with locally, the authorities will call in the fire planes which fly low over the sea, scoop water into their holds and then dump it on the fire. Obviously if this can be avoided it is preferred!
If you discover a fire you should, yell FIRE at the TOP OF YOUR VOICE and tackle it only if it doesn't pose a personal risk. If you have a mobile phone, even in areas which say no signal you will still be able to dial the National Emergency Number 199. If you do have a signal you should also dial the local number +(30) 22980 53199 to ensure the alarm is raised as quickly as possible. If you're in a remote part of the island without a phone, get back to the town as fast as possible and tell everyone you meet en-route. A local person will hear you and will immediately alert the authorities and raise the alarm. Everyone takes an outbreak of fire very seriously. The islanders will take over and know where the fire hydrants are etc.
If you are a smoker, PLEASE make sure that you put out your cigarette completely especially if you are walking in the countryside. In fact, be like me and take a small tin with you so you have a portable ashtray. If it's windy, then please don't smoke in the countryside at all especially in the high season and autumn when the ground is covered with dry grass as it only takes one small ember to start a huge fire. Please remember that we lost some of Hydra's sons during a fire not so long ago - think how bad you would feel if you were responsible for starting one! Also it's polite not to litter the place.