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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) Rega App


General

  • What basic features does the Rega app offer?
    • Alerts Rega in an emergency by automatically transmitting your position coordinates to the Rega Operations Centre – from within Switzerland or from abroad.
    • Test alarm to check that the alarm feature is functioning properly and to practise what to do in an emergency.
    • Detailed map information from Swisstopo, displaying your current position in all standard coordinate systems.
    • Useful information about raising the alarm, first aid, and air transports on behalf of mountain farmers.

     

  • What additional features does the Rega app offer (from January 2019)?
    • Installation: After downloading, when opening the Rega app for the first time, the app user is instructed in a few simple steps to enter their personal data and to configure the app so that it functions properly in the event of an emergency. It is still possible to raise the alarm using the app even if it has not been configured.
    • Share position with Rega: Provided that it has been enabled by the app user, this feature shares the position coordinates of the smartphone to the Rega Operations Centre at regular intervals so that in an emergency a rescue can be carried out as efficiently as possible. If a search operation is necessary, Rega’s mission coordinators can access the database and ascertain the last known position of the smartphone. The position data is used solely in connection with a search operation.
    • Share position with contacts: With this feature, app users can share their position coordinates – for example, when they are out on a hike – with friends and family. The selected persons are sent a link enabling them to access a map displaying the smartphone’s current position. As soon as the app user disables the feature, the data is automatically deleted. This additional feature is available exclusively to Rega patrons.
    • Monitor activity: The Rega app can also monitor the user’s activity – such as when they are out and about on their own. Users can specify up to three emergency contacts, who will be automatically notified by means of a voice message if the app user is unable to acknowledge an automatic confirmation request on their smartphone or does not move for a certain period of time. For this to be possible, the user needs to enable the "Monitor activity" feature. This additional feature is exclusively reserved for use by Rega patrons.
    • Additional map material from Swisstopo (summer, winter and 3D map), which helps you to plan a hike or tour.


    Video explaining how the Rega app works: www.app.rega.ch

     

  • Does using the Rega app incur additional costs?
    Like many other apps, the Rega app uses a mobile data connection to perform certain functions (e.g. displaying the map, downloading more detailed information or raising the alarm). Depending on your contract with your mobile phone provider, this may result in certain charges being payable.

    When you initiate a test alarm, a telephone connection is set up with a Swiss landline number and you will hear an automated voice message confirming that the test has been successful. This call lasts approximately 10–12 seconds. Whether and how much you are charged for this depends on your mobile phone contract and whether you are in Switzerland or abroad.

     

  • In what way is the Rega app different to standard GPS devices?
    When the alarm is raised using the Rega app, the coordinates of the caller’s current position are transmitted directly to Rega’s Operations Centre. The flight coordinator sees this position directly on the map on their screen, and can thus mobilise the necessary rescue services more quickly. The automatic transfer of data also prevents errors from occurring, which might otherwise arise when giving coordinates verbally in a stress situation.

    In addition, the Rega app indicates the battery level of the mobile phone. In certain circumstances, this can be important for determining the way in which the Operations Centre and the person raising the alarm subsequently communicate with each other. Personal details about the caller – such as language spoken, name and age – are also transmitted to the Operations Centre when the alarm is initiated, provided that these are already stored in the app.

     

  • For which operating systems is the Rega app available?
    The Rega app is available for iOS and Android and can be downloaded free of charge from the corresponding app store. In order to ensure that the app works perfectly at all times and can fulfil its purpose, we are forced for technical reasons to adapt it to the current devices and operating systems. This means that some older operating systems and devices are no longer supported. To install our app on Android you currently need Android 6.0 or higher. The functionality with Apple devices depends on the model (all compatible Apple devices can be found under this link) and the operating system - at least iOS 10.3.

    However, if no Rega app is available for your mobile phone, the Rega Operations Centre has another way of locating you when you raise the alarm. In order to pinpoint the precise position of a smartphone owner, they are sent an SMS containing a link. By opening this link, the recipient can then transmit their coordinates to the Operations Centre via a mobile website.

    The prerequisites for this procedure are a data-capable smartphone with GPS receiver and sufficient network coverage. In addition, “Location Services” needs to be enabled both in the phone settings and in Internet Explorer. In the case of smartphones with a foreign SIM card, data roaming also needs to be activated.

     

 

Installation

  • Why do I need to verify my telephone number?
    This enables us to check whether the number entered really is the correct one for the smartphone on which the various features have been enabled. In the event of an emergency, a correct phone number is vital for a rescue to be performed as efficiently as possible.

     

  • I can’t find the Rega app in my app store under the keyword, "Rega". Why is that?
    Perhaps your mobile phone is linked with a store abroad – for example, if you gave a foreign address when you registered in the store. The Rega app is not available in foreign stores because it was developed and tested for use with the Swiss mobile phone network and is not able to cover all the roaming possibilities.

    In order to be able to nevertheless download the app for your mobile phone, you need to open a separate account in the Swiss app store. For this, you will require a Swiss address (the address of your hotel or holiday apartment will suffice) and a Swiss means of payment (Swiss credit card or a voucher card purchased in Switzerland).

    However, you should be aware that Rega has not performed any tests with mobile phones operating over foreign providers, so you should be sure to test the app by using the test alarm feature.

     

  • Do I have to enter all my personal data under "Profile" in order for the Rega app to work?
    The data that you enter is very helpful for our Operations Centre – but it is not essential to be able to use the alarm feature. However, we recommend that you at least enter your mobile phone number.

    The additional features, "Share position with contacts” and "Monitor activity", are reserved exclusively for Rega patrons. In order to use them, you need to click in the app on "Patrons", enter your patronage number and area code, and verify your mobile phone number.

     

  • Why am I not able to use all the Rega app functions on my tablet?
    When the alarm is raised using the Rega app, a telephone connection is set up with Rega’s Operations Centre. This takes place via the mobile phone network. However, most tablets do not allow calls over the mobile network; consequently, the alarm function does not work on these devices.

     

  • I would like to use the Rega app in another language. How do I do this?
    The language in which the Rega app is displayed depends on the language setting on your device. We support the languages German, French, Italian and English. If your smartphone is set to a language other than these, the Rega app will automatically default to English.

    Therefore, you can use the German, French, Italian or English version of the Rega app simply by enabling the appropriate language setting on your device.

    You can change the language on your smartphone under “Settings”.

     

  • Why does the Rega app not work on older operating systems?
    The app is largely based on new technologies which are no longer supported by older operating systems. Whether older devices support it or not is determined by the manufacturer. To install our app on Android you currently need Android 6.0 or higher. The functionality with Apple devices depends on the model (all compatible Apple devices can be found under this link) and the operating system - at least iOS 10.3.

     

 

Additional features for Rega patrons

  • I’m a Rega patron. How do I enable the additional features?
    1. Download the Rega app for iPhone or Android or update your Rega app to the new version 2.0.

    2. Open the Rega app on your smartphone.

    3. Click on "Configure now" and follow the instructions.

    4. Activate the additional features for patrons: in the app, select the menu option, "Patron", at the bottom of the screen.

    5. Select "Patron login" and enter your personal patronage number (7- or 8- digit number) and the area code of your home address.

     

  • Why are some of the new features reserved exclusively for patrons?
    Rega is a non-profit foundation that receives over 60 percent of its funding from voluntary financial contributions by its patrons. With the additional features such as "Share position with contacts" and "Monitor activity", Rega would like to thank its patrons for their invaluable support.

    The basic features of the app – in other words, raising the alarm, testing the alarm, and the new feature, "Share position with Rega" – are available to all app users.

     

 

"Share position" feature

  • What is the difference between "Share position with Rega" and "Share position with contacts"?
    The feature, "Share position with Rega", periodically transmits your current position to Rega’s Operations Centre. This position data can only be seen by Rega in the event of an emergency. The feature can be permanently activated. Rega recommends that you always enable this feature when pursuing an activity outside in rough terrain.

    The feature, "Share position with contacts", allows selected contact persons to track your movements in the web browser. The feature is only active for a certain amount of time or can be manually disabled by the app user.

     

  • Can I also use the "Share position" feature abroad?
    Yes, but in order to transmit your position coordinates to the Rega Operations Centre or your designated contacts, the Rega app requires a mobile data connection. Depending on your contract with your mobile phone provider, this could incur costs.

     

 

"Monitor activity" feature

  • What should my emergency contacts do when they receive the voice message?
    Provided that a Rega patron has entered one or more emergency contacts in the Rega app, these individuals will be automatically notified of this by SMS. If they are contacted by Rega, the emergency contact will receive a phone call with an automated message requesting them to investigate the well-being of the app user. If they do not succeed in doing so, and there is good reason to suspect an emergency situation, they can then alert Rega by calling the emergency number 1414.

     

  • Can I also use the "Monitor activity" feature abroad?
    Yes. However, if you have enabled the “Monitor activity” feature and you do not respond to the acknowledgement request, an automatic check call will be sent to your smartphone. This check call originates from a Swiss number and so, depending on your mobile phone contract, may give rise to roaming costs.

     

 

Raising the alarm

  • What happens when I initiate the test alarm?
    The test alarm is a one-way connection check; consequently, it does not initiate an emergency call at our Operations Centre. As soon as the test alarm has been successfully transmitted, you will receive an automatic voice message. We will also send you a confirmation by SMS.

     

  • Does the Rega app also work when I only have very poor reception or even none at all?
    In order for an alarm call to be initiated, at least a minimal connection with a mobile phone network is necessary. In the complete absence of any network coverage, it is not possible to raise the alarm and thus it is also not possible to contact the Operations Centre by telephone.

    If reception is poor and no data network is available, the Rega app transmits the coordinates by SMS. However, in this case, too, a rescue will only be organised after the Operations Centre has been contacted.

    If due to a lack of adequate network coverage, you are not able to acknowledge the confirmation request by the "Monitor activity" feature via the app, the procedure with the check call followed by the automated voice message to your contacts will be initiated. If you are subsequently able to receive and respond to the check call, the voice message to the emergency contacts will not be sent.

     

  • I’m deaf and therefore cannot make voice calls over telephone. How can I contact Rega in the event of an emergency?
    Generally our flight coordinators want to speak to the person who is raising the alarm. However, in the case of people who are deaf or hearing impaired, we recommend the following:

    Download the Rega app onto your iPhone or Android smartphone. You can find further information here: www.app.rega.ch

    In the Rega app, select "Profile", then in the field marked "Family name", enter your family name, as well as the words "deaf, via SMS" in brackets. Important: Only enter this information (deaf, via SMS) under "Family name"; this field is always transmitted to the Rega Operations Centre.

    You should also ensure that your own mobile phone number is entered correctly in the field, "Phone number of this device".

    In in the event of an emergency, you can alert Rega via the app. Thanks to the data transmitted, the Rega Operations Centre is informed that you are deaf or hearing impaired and will contact you by SMS and also request further information about the emergency by SMS.

     

  • I enjoy hiking in the mountains and am often in Alpine areas close to the Swiss border. How should I proceed in an emergency? Can I also call out Rega from areas bordering on Switzerland? And is this possible using the "I need help from abroad" feature on the Rega app?
    Basically speaking, Rega does not fly emergency medical assistance directly to accident sites outside Switzerland. This is the responsibility of the appropriate rescue organisations in the country concerned. There are certain cases where Rega responds to emergencies in areas close to the Swiss border; however, it is then explicitly called out by the local rescue services responsible.

    If you find yourself in an emergency situation and are not sure on which side of the Swiss border you are, we recommend that you first contact Rega, either by calling the emergency number 1414 or by using the "I need help in Switzerland" feature on your Rega app. This is particularly advisable if your location is difficult to reach due to rough terrain, if the approach route is too long for emergency services on the ground to get to you quickly, or if you think that the severity of the injury or illness requires a rescue helicopter to be called out.

    If, on the other hand, you are sure that you are outside Swiss territory, we recommend that you call the European emergency number 112 or the number 911. Alternatively, you can find out in advance the relevant emergency number for the country in question (for example, by consulting a travel guide) and then call that number. Experience has shown that this is the quickest way to deal with emergencies beyond the Swiss border, particularly if the appropriate regional rescue services need to ask you for detailed information about the accident site and the local weather conditions. In the event that Rega does need to be called out, the regional alarm centre will pass on the case to us.

    Fundamentally, the Rega app feature, "I need help from abroad", is not intended for raising the alarm in the event of an acute emergency abroad. It much rather comes into its own when Rega is asked to repatriate severely ill or injured patients from another country back to Switzerland. In such cases, the patient has generally already been hospitalised. With the aid of the data provided by the Rega app, our medical consultants can discuss the case with the doctors on location and make the appropriate arrangements for the patient to be flown back to Switzerland.

     

 

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