Rega’s aim is to get to a seriously injured or ill person as rapidly as possible, to administer emergency medical care and to transport the patient swiftly and gently to hospital. But in order to be able to do this, the rescuers need to know where the casualty actually is – something that can be extremely challenging, particularly with emergencies in inaccessible terrain or mountainous regions. “Many people don’t know exactly where they are when they call us to ask for assistance,” says Brigitte Kuhn, Head of Rega’s Operations Centre. A person suffering from shock or in a stressful situation often even has difficulty describing their surroundings.
Raising the alarm using the Rega app saves a lot of time
“With rescue missions, the Rega app makes things much easier for us – which also benefits our patients”, explains Brigitte Kuhn. For when a person raises the alarm using the Rega app, their coordinates are automatically transmitted to Rega’s Operations Centre. The flight coordinator sees the caller’s location on a digital map and immediately knows exactly where emergency assistance is required, who has requested help and also, for example, how long their mobile phone battery will last. “Thanks to the Rega app, we can save up to five minutes or more”, says Kuhn. Precious minutes that can make all the difference in an emergency.
Moreover, since the end of 2014, the coordinates transmitted via the Rega app have been relayed directly into the helicopter cockpit – enabling the crew to fly without delay to the exact location.
1,500 rescue missions since the launch of the Rega app
The Rega app has already been downloaded one million times since it was launched four years ago. In the meantime, it has proved its worth for around 1,500 missions – and is thus an indispensable tool in modern-day air rescue. In the past few days, for example, Rega was called out via the emergency app to attend to a boy with acute heart problems; the young patient had to be reanimated and flown to the Children’s Hospital in Zurich. Also to an elderly man in French-speaking Switzerland, who had suffered an allergic reaction after being stung by a wasp on the Creux du Van mountain. And the hiker in Appenzell, who fell and could not move his knee; he was airlifted out of the forest with the rescue hoist and subsequently flown to hospital.
Free download of the Rega app for iOS and Android
The Rega app can be downloaded free of charge for iPhones in iTunes and for Android devices in the Google Play Store. Furthermore, a Rega app for Windows operating systems is scheduled to be launched in the second half of 2016.
Further information is available on our website at:
Rega Media Service