Rega Rescue – App Review
The Elevator Pitch
When I am hiking up on some ridge and I think of the almost worst-case scenario (like a turned ankle that renders someone immobile) I feel better knowing I am one swipe away from a helicopter swooping in to save the day (with optional St. Bernard’s with their small barrel of brandy or schnapps). If you do any kind of hiking, biking, or any other mountain-based activities you should absolutely have this app on your phone. It’s as simple as that.
Last year I saw Rega in action close-up as they flew in to evacuate someone from Schynige Platte who was experiencing heart troubles. They landed their helicopter on what seemed like a postage-stamp sized piece of land and jumped into action. It was impressive.
From their own words, “Rega comes to the aid of people in distress, providing swift, professional medical assistance by air. In order to do this, it employs state-of-the-art operating resources, such as helicopters and air-ambulances. Rega’s workforce comprises qualified, experienced staff.”
You can use the app regardless but Rega survives based on contributions from their Patrons (CHF30 for an individual up to CHF70 for a family). I’m a proud patron and will be forever. As a patron you are also invited to an open-house event a few times a year to visit one of the helicopter bases (the closest is at Erstfeld).
Functionalities and Scenarios
The app is comically simple. The default screen has two big swipe buttons: one for needing help in Switzerland and another from abroad. When you first install the app you can test the alarm but after that it’s a live wire used only in an emergency
This uses your phone’s GPS to provide an accurate assessment of your current position on a standard map (usually within 50 meters). Below the map it provides the same information in a few different formats in case you need to provide that information to your rescuers.
- SwissGrid (CHF1903) coordinates
- WGS84 (degrees) coordinates
- WGS84 (degrees, minutes) coordinates
- WGS84 (degrees, minutes, seconds) coordinates
- UTM (WGS84) coordinates
The app provides relevant and accurate content about what scenarios the app should be used for, a checklist for what you should provide when raising the alarm, if you have a medical emergency abroad, and also some great decision-tree content about first aid for outdoor activities.
This is a simple screen explaining the patronage system with a link to the Rega website to sign up. Come on, people. If you aren’t a patron become one!
This simple captures your personal information and your Patron number, if applicable. The language of the app seems to come from the language settings of your phone.
I’ve never needed to use the Rega app. I’m grateful that I’ve never needed to use the Rega app. But I am so very grateful that the app is there and the services is available.
If an emergency occurs this is as simple as opening the app and swiping to initiate the alarm. Besides that, it is interesting to read the safety content before a situation arises.
Price : Free