Rega 2: Base where three countries meet
Since 1975, the tri-national Basel Airport has been home to Rega's Basel helicopter base. In earlier times, operations were carried out by voluntary helpers, but these days the base is run by a team of professionals; three physicians from Basel Cantonal Hospital, four paramedics and three pilots take it in turns to be on stand-by duty around the clock.
During the first two years, Swiss Air-Rescue operated a Bell Jet Ranger rescue helicopter in Basel. This was followed by a Bölkow BO 105 and subsequently the elegant Agusta A 109 K2. On 12 March 2003, the Basel base was the first to take delivery of the brand new EC 145 machines. Rega is the first civilian air-rescue organisation in the world to use this state-of-the-art helicopter.
New base at the EuroAirport
After over a period of many years countless locations in and around Basel - including the roof of Basel Cantonal Hospital - were evaluated for their suitability as a Rega base, construction work finally began in December 2001. In autumn 2002, the new base was inaugurated in the Swiss sector of the EuroAirport Basel Mulhouse Freiburg.
In the "Dreiländereck", where Switzerland shares its borders with Germany and France, the Basel crew are called on by their emergency service partners to deal with accidents on the road, at work and during leisure activities, as well as to transport people who are seriously ill. In addition to these so-called primary missions, they transfer patients from smaller hospitals to larger medical centres.
Since 2008, Rega's Basel base has been the only one to have at its disposal an intra-aortic balloon pump (IABP), a machine that mechanically supports the blood circulation and cardiac output. This enables Rega to transfer patients suffering from severe coronary disease to clinics all over Switzerland and in regions just across the border. During missions where an IABP is used, in addition to Rega's medical crew, a cardiac technician is always on board to operate this high-tech machine.
Frequent missions in Southern Baden
The Basel helicopter base flies more than half of its missions in the Southern Baden region of Germany, as well as approx. 10 % in Alsace, France. Its operational area in Switzerland covers North-West Switzerland, the southern foothills of the Jura mountain range and the canton of Jura. The Basel crew fly more than 1,000 missions a year, a third of them, at least in part, at night.
IMPORTANT NOTE: For security reasons, no guided tours will be held at the Rega base Basel until further notice. Thank you for your understanding.