A Quick Rescue

The alarm center receives a call; a person in distress needs to be rescued. Norwegian Air Ambulance helicopters are dispatched to a rescue mission. The rescuers, pilots, and doctors on board will be updated in flight through the Norwegian Air Ambulance app for Air Ambulance Services communication.

Norwegian Air Ambulance has more than 700,000 members in Norway and carries out rescue missions all over Norway and parts of Denmark. It is a vast area with many emergency services and cooperation partners involved. During a rescue mission the crew may need to get in contact with, for instance, the closest hospital or the closest search team with rescue dogs.

We developed an app that helps Norwegian Air Ambulance coordinate rescue missions and to quickly find the person in distress.

The app has helped us find patients faster

Åge Kirkestuen, Rescuer in Norwegian Air Ambulance 


The app has advanced GPS tracking that can track a person in distress, as well as track helicopters and rescue services. On the way to a rescue mission, the crew can send a text message to the person in distress and thereby get the precise rescue location. The app can also track and provide live GPS view of Norwegian Air Ambulance rescue helicopters and search teams.

The coordination app is installed on iPads in use in the helicopters and on iPhones and Android phones that the rescuers, pilots, and doctors on board the helicopter are using.

The app is also used to log off and on duty, and to get an overview of who is on duty at the different bases, and easily get in contact with them. In addition, it provides a quick overview of all the important people from the app’s address book, which is organized for fast retrieval and based on geography. The app keeps track of all communication frequencies for the various municipalities and neighboring municipalities. It can also be used for bulk mail via SMS or e-mail.

The coordination app is an essential tool to help Norwegian Air Ambulance save lives.

Understand the context of use

The app usage was an important part of the design and concept development phase. It was essential for us to understand the situation of use in the helicopters when we designed the app. Large touch surfaces and simple navigation was very important, as the aircrafts shake a lot during the flight. On night missions the crew often use advanced night binoculars, amplifying all light. It was therefore important to consider the color rendering so that the app also could function optimally under these conditions.

Technology we used

  • Xamarin
  • .NET/C#
  • JSON

What we did

  • Project management
  • Functional responsibility
  • Interaction design
  • Graphic design
  • Architecture
  • iPhone and iPad development
  • Android development

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