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Rega – Swiss Air-Rescue

Hiking with foresight

On a hike, a minor incident can quickly turn into an emergency. These tips from the Rega Operations Centre help you to avoid unpleasant surprises.

Charge your phone battery

Before setting out on a walk or hike, charge your phone battery and keep your phone warm and protected - it can save lives in an emergency.

Wear brightly coloured clothes

Brightly coloured clothes increase your visibility - also for a Rega crew. That makes it easier to find you in an emergency.

Observe the weather

You need help, it is already late in the day and a storm is approaching? Raise the alarm in good time: bad weather and/or darkness or poor visibility can delay or even prevent a rescue. Do not wait too long.

Inform other people about your route

It is helpful if you let relatives, friends or mountain hut keepers know where you are heading and roughly how long your planned route will take. In an emergency, a search team will then know where to start looking. Equally, though, remember to let mountain hut keepers know if you are not going on a hike you had planned and told them about. By doing so, you can help to prevent an unnecessary search for you.

Check your position regularly

Check your position on the map regularly. That will enable you to give your approximate location if you require assistance. Other useful information for our flight coordinators includes forks in the path, alp names or distinctive topographical features such as lakes or mountain peaks.

Call out the rescue services in good time

Are you lost and do not know what to do next? Avoid taking unnecessary risks. Alert us in good time - we may be able to help you without dispatching the rescue helicopter. 

Ask Rega for help

Despite every precaution, things sometimes just happen - and Rega's assistance is needed. In Alpine terrain, even a sprained ankle can quickly turn into an emergency. We always recommend calling out Rega using the Rega emergency app. Then the precise coordinates of an accident location are transmitted directly to the Operations Centre and the Rega helicopter pilot knows where to find the site.

If you do not have a smartphone or have not installed the Rega app, you can also alert Rega by calling the emergency number 1414. If no mobile service is available where you are, change your position and additionally try calling the European emergency number 112. Sometimes, just a few metres can make the difference between no service and service.

The following information helps the Rega Operations Centre to swiftly dispatch the appropriate help: 

Where are you exactly?
Coordinates, place name, locality, prominent landmarks. Tip: the Rega app automatically transmits your coordinates to the Operations Centre.

Who can be contacted at the accident scene, and how? 
Full name, telephone number

What happened exactly?
How did the accident happen? What did you see?

How many people are involved?
Number of casualties, nature of their injuries

What is the situation at the accident site?
Possible to land a helicopter? Obstacles such as cables, power lines, antennae?

What are the weather conditions at the accident site?
Visibility? Rain? Wind? 


The illustration, «Help for hikers in distress», provides you with the key facts & figures about Rega's missions in response to hiking accidents:

Illustration: Help for hikers in distress