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Annual Press Conference 2011

84,000 new Rega patrons

Flight physician on a mission

Thanks to the support of its many patrons, Swiss Air-Rescue Rega is able to provide emergency assistance by air throughout Switzerland. In 2010, the public at large once again called on these services on numerous occasions: in the course of the year, Rega organised a total of 13,726 operations, both at home and abroad. It also took measures to reinforce the already excellent provision of medical assistance by air by investing in staff, projects and material.

Almost 2.3 million patrons form the backbone of Rega. With their contributions and donations, they enable its around-the-clock standby service, its dense rescue network and investments in new equipment and infrastructure. It is therefore extremely gratifying that in 2010 this body of supporters continued to grow, with numbers increasing by 3.8% or around 84,000 new patrons – equivalent to the population of the cities of Bulle and St.Gallen.

Number of missions

In 2010, Rega organised almost 14,000 missions. For both the helicopters and the ambulance jets, this represents a marginal decrease against the previous year. Particularly striking is the constant increase in the frequency with which a helicopter was called out to deal with winter sport accidents. Operations carried out in response to avalanche accidents also rose significantly. In contrast, the figures for the other spheres fell slightly.
 
The increase in the missions performed by the mountain bases is attributable to the fact that since the beginning of 2010 the former partner bases in Mollis and Zweisimmen have been officially operating as Rega helicopter bases. Correspondingly, this resulted in a substantial drop in the amount of flights carried out by the partner bases.

Investments

The introduction of the latest rescue helicopter type, the AgustaWestland Da Vinci, was completed in 2010, with the last two mountain bases taking delivery of their new helicopters in December. Thus, despite a number of teething problems, Rega succeeded in bringing this major project to a successful conclusion.

After some delay caused by the problematic composition of the ground and the necessary flood prevention measures, construction of the new Rega base in Ticino was set under way, with the official ground-breaking ceremony taking place on 1 June 2010.

After eight years of performing repatriation flights, the three ambulance jets were required to undergo comprehensive checks and maintenance work. This major overhaul was completed according to plan within just four weeks per aircraft and without operations being substantially restricted in any way.

Equipment

Last year, Rega took steps to update the medical apparatus and equipment in its ambulance jets and rescue helicopters. By involving Rega in the design of new products at an early stage, it was possible to take account of its wishes, requirements and improvement suggestions. Thanks to these new, improved products, patients can be cared for more efficiently, safety during missions has been increased and the weight of the equipment – a key factor in the field of aviation – substantially reduced.

Documents relating to the press conference:

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