Rega 9: Base in the Engadine
Already back in 1957, just a few years after Swiss Air-Rescue was founded, Rega occasionally flew rescue missions in the Engadin, using a helicopter belonging to Heliswiss.
At the end of the 1960’s, Rega purchased a helicopter of its own – an Alouette III – to serve this region. From 1982, Rega also employed its own rescue team, stationed at Samedan Airport where it had built its own hangar in 1977.
Good cooperation with the SAC
The field of activities carried out by the Engadin base is characterised by the seasonal fluctuations in the tourism sector. Winter sport enthusiasts, as well as mountain climbers on the famous peaks of the Bernina Massif and the steep rock faces of the Bregaglia mountain range, are among its most frequent patients. In special cases, Rega uses the services of the Swiss Alpine Club (SAC), with which it enjoys an excellent working relationship. In addition, the crew are called out to a large number of road, occupational and sports accidents.
In the case of large-scale missions, such as avalanche accidents, the Samedan base also works with local companies, whose helicopters are used to transport rescuers and equipment. Depending on the workload at the neighbouring Rega bases, its operational area also covers the northern part of the canton of Graubünden and the regions just across the border in Italy and Austria.
Many primary missions
Around 500 rescue missions are flown every year from the highest Rega base, at approx. 1,700m above sea-level. Almost 90 percent of them are so-called primary missions, whereby a flight physician and a paramedic are transported to the scene of the accident in order to administer first aid to the patient. The remaining 10 percent are so-called secondary missions, which involve transferring patients who are already receiving medical care, for example, from a regional hospital to a central clinic.