Frequently Asked Questions

HEROES

How can I become a Hero?

It’s simple! After downloading the Heroes Nearby App, click on your Hero Profile and sign up. We will ask you to send a photo of a personal document to confirm your identity. We respect your privacy and your personal details will not be shared. This data is solely for the sake of greater security for the community. If you have been verified by a club, association or organisation, you will not be required to send your identity.

What is a verified Hero?

A verified Hero is someone who has been verified by a legitimate club or association as being of good character and willing to help, sometimes with excellent practical skills. These could be members of military, firefighting, or rescue services; martial arts or boxing clubs; athletes, doctors and nurses associations etc.

Can my club / company / association become a Hero and how?

Yes. This would be highly desirable and says a lot about your club / company / association. If you are an official representative of your organization, association or club, you can apply as a Verifier. Only verifiers are eligible to apply on behalf of the organization and invite and verify its members as Heroes. The process of verifying your members as Heroes (via the Heroes Nearby app) is quick and easy. You will receive detailed instructions via email once your application is approved. Your club / company / organization logo will be promoted on our website and accross our social media platforms under the city that you protect and support. Sign up as an organization HERE.

I am a doctor, nurse or paramedic. How do I set up my profile to only respond to medical emergencies?

The Heroes Nearby App can be set to only receive calls that require medical assistance. On the screen of your Hero profile mark that you want to only receive medical calls.

What should I do when I receive a call for help?

  • Carefully view all the details of the received SOS call
  • Click on the button “I’m coming”
  • Look at the exact location of the caller
  • Assess whether you should immediately call the police or other emergency services
  • Go to the scene
  • Help the best you know, and according to your abilities, by adhering to the recommendations

Are there any recommendations for Heroes on how to deal with potential situations?

Yes. We have described some of the possible situations and procedures in the article What to consider when responding to an S.O.S. call.

As a Hero, do I see all the details of the person calling for help?

When you receive an SOS call, you will see the details of the person calling without their location. After accepting the call, you will see a map with the exact location of the person calling for help.

How can I help in risky situations? Do I have to interfere?

In less stressful and easier situations, almost everyone can help (eg help the elderly to get up, walk someone home or go to a pharmacy for someone etc.). In dangerous and stressful situations you can also be helpful in many ways. It is not always necessary to interfere. For example, you can call the police or other emergency services and give a detailed description of the situation. Very often the arrival of someone at the scene can distract the attacker from their intentions. Some recommendations for acting in various situations have been written on our blog and you can read them HERE.

I would like to help neighbors and fellow citizens only in situations that are not dangerous. Is this possible?

Yes, the SOS call that you receive will contain a description of the situation, as well as a danger level. There are three levels:

  1. Green – Low or potential danger (eg I do not feel safe, I need something from a pharmacy)
  2. Orange -Medium danger (eg minor injuries, high temperature etc.)
  3. Red – High and life-threatening situation (eg physical assault, heart attack, car accident, etc.).

It is up to you to decide which SOS call you want to respond to.

Will I receive notifications if the Heroes Nearby App is turned off?

Yes, you will receive a push notification. Clicking the notification will open the SOS call details.

SOS CALLS

How do I set up a SOS call?

The Heroes Nearby App comes with several pre-set SOS calls. You can change or delete these calls. To set up a new SOS call, on the home screen (SOS calls), scroll down to the bottom and press the “Add New” button. A screen for creating a new SOS call will open. The options are described in detail.

VIDEO TUTORIAL: “How to setup a new SOS call”

How many SOS calls can I set up?

As a premium member, the number of SOS calls you can set up is unlimited. When you  download the Heroes Nearby App, you will get one month premium membership for free! If you like the Heroes Nearby App and recommend it to your friends, you can get up to 5 free months premium – 1 month for each friend who signs up.

With the standard membership, which is free, you may set up just 1 SOS call with all features except for a callout to the Heroes in the vicinity for help and real-time tracking.

How do I edit an existing SOS call?

You can edit the settings of an existing SOS call in two ways – fast and permanent.

Fast way – If you want to quickly change some of the settings just before sending an SOS call, you can do it quickly and easily by pressing the small icons found on the left hand side in the SOS call.  You can also change the level of danger by pressing the danger bars on the righthand side. After the SOS call has ended, the settings will return to their original preset state.
Permanent – By pressing the settings icon in the right corner of each pre-set SOS, a screen with all the settings of that SOS call opens. After changing the settings, press the “Save” button at the bottom.

Who is actually called to help me when I activate my SOS call?

For each predefined SOS call, you can specify who you want to call. For example, for a life threatening situation you will probably want to call everyone who can help.

  • your friends and family
  • Heroes Nearby Community members – App users who have registered as Heroes, which may include members of emergency services and police, private persons, members of martial arts and other clubs, athletes and all upstanding people who want to help.

Will the police / ambulance automatically be notified by the activation of a SOS call?

Most emergency services and police require voice communication and have no system for receiving sms, email messages or receiving your location (GPS). We are trying to establish partnerships with the police and emergency services at the local level, and in this case the police and emergency services will be Heroes who will receive your call if you have chosen them in the Heroes Nearby App settings.

Why not just call the police or other emergency services?

In many cases police or other emergency services are not nearby and a person willing to help can do much more, faster. Often in cases of threats or verbal abuse, the police will not come to the scene. Also, it is sometimes difficult to assess whether you want to call the police immediately (and the situation may escalate). There are so many cases where just the arrival of another person can interrupt the attacker.

In cases of physical assault you may not have time to call the police and explain what is happening. Also, Heroes can call the police and other emergency services on your behalf, if necessary. Of course, if you have enough time and evaluate that it is better to call the police directly, then you can certainly do it. The Heroes Nearby App is there to increase your chances of getting the help you need in a timely manner. This does not exclude police and emergency services. Also, many of our Heroes are members of the police, army and  emergency services. We also have Heroes that are physicians, nurses, paramedics, martial artists and other professionals.

Also, determining your exact location is still a problem for the police and other services while the Heroes Nearby App will do it automatically, and with real-time tracking running, all the Heroes will have information about your current location and the direction you are moving in.

Why not just call the ambulance?

It is well known that in emergencies every minute is important, and getting help quickly can save one’s life. Also, a person in a state of shock often can not think clearly or give a clear description and guidance to the location of the event. Sometimes a person can not even speak, e.g. in the case of an asthma attack or heart attack.

The Heroes Nearby App is there to increase your chances of getting the help you need in a timely manner, which of course does not exclude ambulance and physicians. Also, many of our Heroes are physicians or first responders trained in First Aid.

I am already insured for emergency first response or armed response services. Why do I need HN?

Any tool that reduces the response time in an emergency is useful. HN can be used in conjunction with services that you may already be signed up with, like road side assistance/neighbourhood watch/armed response or emergency first response. Just add them as your Private hero or in the SMS or email options.

FLIC BUTTON

What is the FLIC button?

FLIC is a smart, wireless SOS push-button that can be linked with the Heroes Nearby App on your phone. The FLIC button can be carried on your person and can activate an SOS call when you don’t have your phone on you (although it must be in the vicinity for the Bluetooth to work), or when there is not enough time to activate it from your phone. You can pin it on your clothes, bag or keyring, attach it inside your car or home.

How do I connect the FLIC button?

The FLIC button connects with your smartphone via bluetooth, and the first step is to install the FLIC mobile application. After that, in the Heroes Nearby App, on the „Flic“ screen you can link your FLIC button to the Heroes Nearby App and then link one or more previously created SOS calls with the FLIC button.

Can I connect the FLIC to multiple SOS calls?

Yes, you can link up to 3 previously created SOS calls. The FLIC button has the ability to launch an SOS call with three different states (click, double click, hold) and you can assign one of the pre-created SOS calls to each of these states. Our recommendation – Connect the activation of the FLIC button with the “Double click” or “Hold” option. This will avoid the possibility of accidental activation with a single click.

Can I connect multiple FLIC buttons to one phone/app?

For now, it is not possible.

KNOWN ISSUES

Problems with GPS, tracking and push notifications

If during the use of the Heroes Nearby mobile app, you experience issues with GPS-tracking or push notifications, then you probably have a problem that is solely attributed to the manufacturer of a particular mobile phone. It is practically an open secret that many smartphones have aggressive battery saving tactics, which often put background apps into sleep mode. Some of the Chinese mobile devices and Huawei phones in particular, tend to kill apps aggressively without following Android standards for background apps.

Read more and find some of the possible solutions in our article Manufacturers’ Issues: Problems with GPS, tracking and push notifications.

FUNCTIONALITY

How will the responding Heroes find me?

Heroes who respond to your SOS call receive your precise location, profile picture,  and all data and media files sent with the SOS call.

Can I use the Heroes Nearby App for a non-emergency?

Yes. The Heroes Nearby App is designed to enable community support for any situation when needed. Non-emergencies should be marked as such in the  SOS call as level 1 -not urgent. This implies that your life is not in danger and you don’t need immediate help.

What if, in the case of a physical attack, the attacker takes my smart phone and breaks it or my cell phone shuts down?

Your location and SOS data  are sent to the Heroes Nearby server immediately and your SOS call will still be active. Your location will no longer refresh in real time.

How do I send a silent alarm so that my attacker doesn’t know?

In the settings of each SOS call, it is possible to set up a silent call. Just click on the speaker icon and set it to the „no sound“ mode.

What do I do if I don’t need help anymore?

Simply disable the active SOS call by holding the SOS button for 2 seconds and Heroes will be notified that you no longer need their help.

What is the auto audio recording feature?

When you send an SOS  call,  audio recording starts automatically and records first 20 seconds. The mp3 file is sent to all responding Heroes and helps them better assess the situation so that they can decide how to respond. They get a quick insight into your situation before coming to the scene and that’s why it is a short recording. You can add a video, photo or more audio later. The improvement of this option is planned in future versions.

Why is my location sometimes not sufficiently precise?

The accuracy of the positioning depends primarily on the capabilities of the mobile device and the strength of the GPS signal. The Heroes Nearby App has its own smart algorithm for better positioning and tracking. Most smart phones have GPS that allow accurate locationing when an adequate GPS signal is caught.

The accuracy of the GPS  ranges from 2.5m to a few dozen  meters in the outdoors. A  weaker or distorted signal can occur in narrow streets and sheltered spaces as well as in cloudy conditions. Indoors the GPS signal may be significantly weaker or completely lost (eg in the basement). For approximate location in cases without a GPS signal, locating by mobile stations is used (triangulation).

What if one of the people I want to contact in an emergency does not have a smartphone?

If some of your personal Heroes (eg. family member, friends, employees and colleagues) don’t have smartphones you can add them under your emergency SMS and email contacts. A Hero without a smartphone will receive all the SOS call data in a text message (or in the e-mail message) Also, they will receive the link to the map with your location which can be viewed on a PC.

Do I need to be online for the Heroes Nearby App to work?

If you are not online your SOS call will only be sent to your SMS contacts. If it is only a temporary interruption of an Internet connection or a weak signal, the Heroes Nearby App will send all the information of your SOS call after restoring the Internet connection. The Heroes Nearby App seeks to take full advantage of your mobile device, and internet connectivity is a prerequisite for full functionality of the Heroes Nearby App. For example the screen with the list of past SOS calls will not work without internet as the Heroes Nearby App must contact the database for that.

What is the incident report function?

As a Heroes Nearby App user, you can send out an SOS call as an incident report. Heroes Nearby will receive the notification and be able to react accordingly. If you are a witness to a situation that requires help (e.g. fights, destruction of property, criminal activity), you have the option to turn on the incident report function to be a witness, recording everything on the spot and sending it with an SOS call. The recipients will see that you are not in danger, but it does not mean that they cannot help.

How do I send a media file with the SOS call?

If you send an SOS call with auto audio recording activated then the audio mp3 file is automatically sent with the SOS call.

In all other cases (when  auto audio recording is off) you can attach a photo, video or audio file to your SOS call. Immediately after activating the SOS call a popup screen will prompt you to add a photo, video, or audio file. You can add  photo, video, or audio files later (as long as that particular sos call is active) by pressing the button on the active SOS screen.

Will I have enough time to send an SOS call in a real emergency?

The Heroes Nearby app is designed to shorten the time taken to send an SOS call to anyone who can help. In critical situations like sudden physical attack the fastest solution is probably activating the SOS call using the FLIC button. If your cell phone is at hand and not buried deep in your bag, you may have enough time to open the Heroes Nearby App and press the SOS button. Of course, each situation is different. If you expect that you will be in a vulnerable situation, for example, walking alone at night, you can have the Heroes Nearby App open on your phone with an SOS call ready to be pressed.

Will I be charged for the SMS messages?

Yes, you will be charged by your carrier at the normal rate. If you do not have units in a pre-paid phone, the SMS will not be sent.

What about false alarms?

Anyone who is reported to have launched a false alarm 3 or more times will be banned from using the Heroes Nearby App.

Does the mobile Heroes Nearby Application use a lot of battery power?

No.The mobile Heroes Nearby Application is well-optimized and uses smart protocols. Larger battery power consumption may occur only when an SOS call is triggered and, for example, real-time tracking is activated.

Does the Heroes Nearby App use a lot of memory?

Heroes Nearby App is a small application and uses a small amount of memory.

LEGAL

What if someone's property gets damaged or someone is injured while helping? What is my liability as a responding hero?

The Heroes Nearby App is an intermediary service and provides a communication channel between the person seeking help and a Hero. Any damages (material or bodily) incurred during the provision of assistance are the sole responsibility of the participant as is written in our General Terms and Conditions.

SPREAD THE WORD AND SUPPORT US!

How can I support the Heroes Nearby project?

  • Become a Hero!
  • Get involved in the Heroes Nearby Community Facebook Group
  • Spread the word, share the Heroes Nearby website and blog link, like us on Facebook, follow us on Instagram and Twitter
  • Be a good human being
  • Send us an email with a story of an everyday hero. We are creating a database of Community Heroes. It can be someone who has actually done something heroic like save a life, someone who has served the community in some way or, simply, someone who is your personal hero. Their stories will be told on our blog and social media platforms.

PRIVACY

What about my privacy?

We are extremely careful about all your information and do not share it with third parties. Of course, in the case of a SOS call, we share the information you entered with the Heroes, so they can find you, recognize you, and help you.  We also share information that can help emergency services such as ambulance, police, or firefighters to help you. Even in the case of a SOS call, we pay maximum attention to your privacy, so your location will only be visible to the Heroes who have responded to the call.

Will I be monitored by the Heroes Nearby App all the time?

Not really. When the Heroes Nearby Application is idle (running but without an active SOS call) from time to time we will take your location for your security (faster location in the case of emergency) and for receiving SOS calls from others (if you are a Hero). We collect the data according to the data protection laws and exclusively for the benefit of the community. We do not sell any data. We also only store the last location.