Rega – Swiss Air-Rescue

Our service for patrons

Select your request below and send us the necessary information quickly and easily. We will be happy to help you.

 

Would you like to contact us by telephone?

Our staff at the Patronage Centre will be happy to help you personally.

nullTel. 0844 834 844
for calls within Switzerland (local rates apply)

null Tel. +41 (0)44 654 32 22
for calls from abroad

We can be contacted from Monday to Friday, 08.00am to 5.00pm.

Questions and answers on the subject of Patronage and donations

Select the subject area for answers to frequently asked questions and further information.

Is it safe to make donations online?

Yes. Online donations made via our website are subjected to the highest of security standards. Moreover, the data transmitted is governed by stringent data protection regulations.

Why does Rega needs donors as well as patrons?

With its air-rescue operations, Rega performs a public service in Switzerland without receiving any financial assistance from the State. As a result, Rega is totally dependent on the support of its patrons. However, in order to be able to guarantee swift, uncomplicated assistance by air on a long-term basis, Rega also needs people who demonstrate their solidarity by making donations, legacies or bequests.

I paid my patronage contribution just last summer and now, at the beginning of this year, I have already received another invoice. Is this correct?

Yes. A payment made during the year - irrelevant of the date - is always regarded as the patronage contribution for the current calendar year. Invoices sent out at the beginning of the year are for the renewal of Rega patronage for that year. We are aware that patrons who pay their contributions towards the end of the calendar year do not profit from a full patronage year. However, here, too, we show a certain degree of flexibility; payment made after 1 November also counts as the patronage contribution for the following year, and is valid until 15 May of the year after that (coverage approx. 1 1/2 years).

Can I pay my patronage contribution by direct debit?

No. The administrative work involved in managing such accounts is too high for this to be a viable method of payment.

Can I pay my patronage contribution by credit card?

Payment by credit card is only possible for new patrons (new registrations).

Can I pay my patronage contribution in advance?

Yes, you can pay up to five years in advance.

A change in my personal circumstances has meant that my patronage contribution needs to be amended. Can I still use the paying-in slip I have already been sent if I have informed Rega of the necessary amendments?

No. We ask you to wait with your payment until you have received the new, amended documentation. Only thus can we ensure that your payment is booked correctly under your amended patronage.

The year is drawing to an end and we have not yet received a paying-in slip to renew our Rega patronage for the coming year.

Your Rega patronage for the current year remains valid until 15 May of the year after. Paying-in slips to renew patronage are always sent out in January and February.

What can Rega's new patronage administration system do and why is it better than the old system?

In 2015, Rega completely modernised its data management system in order to be better able to serve its patrons in an increasingly complex social environment. The amended processes and data structures now allow the details of all those covered by a single patronage to be recorded; at the end of 2015, a total of 3,283,000 patrons were entered on the computer system. Until then, Rega had had no details about each individual person, but only about the number of Individual, Family and One-Parent patronages. However, this number did not include, for example, partners or minors listed under a Family patronage. While previously only one card could be issued per Family patronage, now all the family members officially registered under a single patronage receive their own personal Rega patronage card.

Is a telephone call to Rega's Patronage Centre subject to costs?

For telephone number 0844 834 844 , the standard Swiss rate of max. 81 cts/min. applies. If you call telephone number +41 (0)44 654 32 22 from abroad, the rates in the country concerned are payable.

Will the patronage cards be sent directly to each of the beneficiaries included on a single patronage or does the person who pays the invoice receive all of the patronage cards?

All the patronage documents will be sent to the person who has paid the invoice – therefore this person also receives all of the patronage cards. The only exception is the first time a patronage card is sent to a new patron, provided that this has been explicitly requested during online registration by placing a cross in the corresponding box.

I have paid my patronage contribution for the current year, but 15 May has now passed and I have still not received my patronage card. What happens if in an emergency I need to call out Rega

There’s no need to worry. Our pledge to our patrons remains valid whether you have received your Rega patronage card or not. The deciding factor is whether we have received your payment for Rega patronage. A delay in despatching confirmation of payment has no influence on the services that Rega’s patrons can benefit from.

At the end of last year, I informed Rega of various amendments to my personal data (address, family members, beneficiaries, etc.). However, at the beginning of this year, I received documents from Rega with the old, incorrect data. Why is this?

The data for the new invoices is collected in November each year. Due to the huge number of patrons, the printing and dispatch of these documents can take up to three months. If meanwhile you have made any changes to your personal details, these amendments are recorded on our system but not on the invoice. If your amendments result in a change in the invoice amount (e.g. by adding a beneficiary), please ignore this incorrect invoice and wait until you receive the correct, updated documents.

I have tried on several occasions to contact Rega's Patronage Centre by telephone but have not been able to get through. / I sent an e-mail days ago. Why have I still not received an answer?

If you have sent an e-mail, please wait until Rega contacts you. Depending on the time of year this may take some time. During the first four months of the year, we receive a particularly large number of enquiries both by telephone and in writing. It is therefore possible that during this time our Patronage Centre is difficult to reach by telephone or that it takes longer for us to reply to your e-mail than at other times of the year. Many thanks for your understanding and patience.

How can I let you know my change of address?

Please enter your new address in the online form, «Amend adress». 

The master data sheet that Rega has sent me is incorrect. What should I do?

The master data sheet shows all your personal data that is stored in our records. If something is not correct – for example, if in the meantime you have moved – there is no need to worry. Your Rega patronage is still valid. However, we do ask you to inform us of any necessary amendments so that we can keep our database up to date. To do so, please use the online form on our website. 

Why do we receive new patronage cards every year if they are valid for an indefinite period?

Since we frequently receive requests for replacement or additional patronage cards, we have decided to automatically enclose new ones with our correspondence relating to patronage renewal.

How long is my patronage card valid for?

Your patronage card - that is, your Rega patronage - always takes effect from the date of payment and is valid for the current calendar year. In the event of patronage not being renewed, it ceases to be valid on 15 May of the following year.

Do I need to carry my patronage card with me, so that in the case of an emergency I can identify myself as a Rega patron?

No. The question as to whether a person is a Rega patron or not only arises after the rescue mission has been carried out, when determining who is responsible for paying the costs.

Why isn't an expiry date given on either the patronage card or the reply slip?

The invoice you receive, e.g. for the renewal of your patronage, is an invitation to pay. Since patronage contributions are voluntary, they do not constitute accounts receivable that are payable by a given date. Consequently, patrons can decide for themselves when they wish to pay their contribution.

Are horses included in the Family patronage for farmers, in the same way as cattle?

As is set out in our Conditions of Patronage, Rega organises animal transport solely for cattle - whether they are injured, ill or dead. Rega, the Schweizer Berghilfe organisation and the relevant insurance companies are responsible for organising and performing helicopter transports on behalf of Alpine farmers provided that no other means of transport can be used. In the vast majority of cases, such operations are not carried out by Rega, but rather by commercial helicopter transport firms.

Is it possible to include my dog in our Family patronage, like farmers do with their cattle?

No, Rega's purpose is to come to the aid of people in distress and in need of emergency assistance. As a result, it operates with top-quality equipment and a highly-trained crew, including an emergency physician. A Rega mission is thus fundamentally geared towards people. There are other organisations that are responsible for the rescue of animals (with the exception of farm animals in alpine regions).

As an unmarried farmer, how much do I have to pay to ensure that my cattle are also covered for the period they spend in the alpine meadows during the summer?

Livestock owners (natural persons) need to be in possession of a Family patronage (CHF 70.-). It makes no difference if they are single or if their wife or partner are also included.

We are Family patrons. However, my wife and I are now separated and our children live with my wife. What do we need to do to ensure that all the members of our family remain Rega patrons?

You don't need to do anything. Upon payment of the Family patronage contribution of CHF 70.-, the patronage continues to be valid for both parents and their children under the age of 18. If some family members live at a different address, we would be pleased to note the change of address. If you so wish, you can also amend your patronage to 1 x Individual and 1 x Small Family.

Our children are now grown up. Why is our Family patronage not automatically amended to the category for married couples?

We cannot automatically change a Family patronage to the Couple category, as we cannot know if there really are no more (unregistered) children under the age of 18 in the family. A premature change of patronage would mean that they would no longer be included.

Do I have to be married to be eligible for Family patronage?

No. Family patronage is valid for both married and cohabiting couples.

My grown-up children no longer live with me. Do they have to register separately as Rega patrons?

Children over the age of 18 who do not live with their parents can still be listed on the same patronage form. They are simply registered as having a different address.

We no longer have any children under the age of 18. Do we still need to pay CHF 70.-?

No. Couples without any children under the age of 18 only need to pay CHF 60.-. Please inform us of the first name and date of birth of the second person.

Are my children still registered under our Family patronage after they have turned 18?

As soon as they turn 18 years of age, children who are registered as Family patrons are removed from this patronage and listed as Individual patrons (CHF 30.-).

Who is eligible for Family patronage?

Only married or cohabiting couples, together with all of their children under 18 years of age, can be registered as Family patrons.

Can our company take out a collective patronage for our staff?

No. Rega patronage is personal. However, a company can take out a personal patronage for each of its employees.

Do you offer a collective Rega patronage for school classes?

No. Rega patronages are personal. However, Rega does support sport activities carried out by children and young people within the framework of the sports promotion programme, Jugend und Sport (J+S), operated by the Federal Office for Sport (BASPO). Anyone taking part in a J+S camp in Switzerland or the Principality of Liechtenstein who is of J+S age is deemed to be a Rega patron for the duration of the camp. Participants must, however, be registered in the sports data base before the start of the event.

As German nationals, we live near to the Swiss border. Does our Rega patronage cover repatriation back home?

No. In this case, repatriation costs do not form an integral part of patronage benefits. The entire scope of benefits only applies to patrons domiciled in Switzerland or to Swiss patrons living abroad.

I am Swiss and am planning to emigrate. Can I continue to be a Rega patron?

Yes, every single contribution is invaluable in helping us to operate competent, professional air-rescue services both at home and abroad. The entire scope of benefits offered within the framework of a valid Rega patronage are valid for patrons domiciled in Switzerland and Swiss patrons living abroad.

According to the Conditions of Patronage, only patrons domiciled in Switzerland and Swiss patrons living abroad are granted patronage benefits. Why are «foreigners» excluded from these benefits?

As a rescue organisation, Rega is only able to place its limited resources and infrastructure at the disposal of a predefined group of people. An insurance company, on the other hand, is obliged to provide all the benefits stipulated in full. Rega patrons who are resident abroad are not required to pay the cost of rescue flights within Switzerland (transport to the nearest hospital).

My friend, who isn't Swiss, spends a few weeks in Switzerland every year. Can he become a Swiss patron, too? What benefits is he granted?

Your friend can become a Rega patron at any time. If he is a patron and is in Switzerland, he enjoys all the benefits granted to patrons relating to air rescue in Switzerland (i.e. within the Swiss national borders). Benefits relating to repatriation flights from abroad are only granted to patrons who are permanently domiciled in Switzerland (irrelevant of their nationality) and to Swiss nationals living abroad. Repatriation flights to locations outside Switzerland are possible, but incur costs that Rega is not able to cover itself.

Can I give Rega patronage to someone as a gift?

Yes. You can send us the necessary details of the person concerned by registering them online. You will then receive the necessary forms for registering a patron. As soon as the patronage contribution has been paid, the patronage card will be sent in a gift presentation either to you or direct to the card holder.

Rega patronage as a gift

Can I also register someone else as a Rega patron?

You can have another person added to your patronage details and pay their patronage contribution, irrelevant of whether they live at the same address as you or not.

Does Rega offer a long-term or even life patronage?

No. To date, we have decided against introducing a life patronage for various reasons. Instead, you could arrange for a fixed-term payment order through your post office or bank, or pay your patronage contribution in advance for a maximum period of five years.

What benefits do I enjoy as a Rega patron?

In grateful acknowledgement of patrons' support, Rega can, at its own discretion and within the bounds of its resources, waive or reduce the costs of any emergency services that it has provided or organised on their behalf, in the event that insurance companies or any other third party are not liable to pay and thus not required to reimburse the costs of the rescue operation, whether wholly or in part.

Does Rega patronage also cover operations performed by the rescue organisations responsible for carrying out air-rescue in the canton of Valais?

Yes, Rega patronage is valid for the whole of Switzerland and therefore also covers missions flown by the rescue organisations in Valais.

I'm a member of the Swiss Alpine Club. Does that automatically make me a Rega patron?

No. Only SAC Youth Members under the age of 22 years are automatically Rega patrons, too.

Do you offer any reductions in the patronage contributions, for example, for students, apprentices, etc.?

Young people over the age of 18 are regarded as Individual patrons and pay CHF 30.-. However, in the past we have found that parents generally pay this additional patronage contribution or let the young persons decide for themselves if they want to demonstrate their solidarity with Rega by paying the contribution as an Individual patron.

We live together as a couple, but are registered as «Individual» patrons. Do we need to cancel these patronages and re-register under the «Couple» category?

No. You can leave things as they are and continue as Individual patrons. Generally speaking, «Individual» patronages held by couples are only combined when they wish to change to the «Family» category (parents and children under 18 years of age). However, we do recommend is that you cancel one of your two subscriptions to the Rega patrons’ magazine. To do this, use our online form.

Is it possible to call up the details relating to my patronage via the Internet, and even make any necessary amendments?

Yes, it is possible to call up your own patronage details on the Internet. All Rega patrons are sent a personal PIN code with the invitation to renew their patronage. In order to call up your personal data, you will need to enter your patronage number and this PIN code.

The personal data relating to your Rega patronage is just a mouse click away (www.admin.rega.ch). However, you cannot amend this data yourself. Amendments can be made by completing the web form that appears immediately after you have viewed your patronage data or by calling our patrons' hotline on 0844 834 844.

Is a confirmation of patronage automatically issued for tax purposes?

No. For the tax authorities, it is sufficient to send a copy of your contribution payment (a copy of your online payment is also acceptable).

Does Rega patronage count as an insurance?

No. Rega is a privately run, non-profit organisation that depends on voluntary funding. Patronage contributions are deemed to be donations. In grateful acknowledgement of patrons' support, Rega can, at its own discretion and within the bounds of its resources, waive or reduce the costs of any emergency services that it has provided or organised on their behalf, in the event that insurance companies or any other third party are not liable to pay and thus not required to reimburse the costs of the rescue operation, whether wholly or in part.