Rega 7: Base in Eastern Switzerland
The St. Gallen base flies a wide range of missions: besides attending to road accident victims and rescuing skiers, hikers and mountain climbers, the Eastern-Swiss Rega crew are frequently called out to transfer patients – often newborn babies – from one hospital to another.
Missions beyond the Swiss borders
The base’s operational area covers the cantons of St. Gallen, Thurgau and Appenzell, as well as the Principality of Liechtenstein. It extends from Kreuzlingen to the Rhine Valley, and from Lake Constance to the Churfirsten mountain range. That is the equivalent of around seven minutes of flying time from St. Gallen. The national borders, too, are no obstacle for the St. Gallen helicopter when, for example, it is called out by the Lake Constance and Konstanz rescue services, or the rescue and fire services in Feldkirch, to assist with rescue missions in neighbouring countries (Germany and Austria).
From a motorway bridge to its own base
Rega’s air-rescue operations in Eastern Switzerland date back to 2 April 1981. The Alouette III with the registration number HB-XHZ was flown from Zurich to St. Gallen, where it was initially stationed at St. Gallen Children’s Hospital. During the winter months, the helicopter found shelter under a motorway bridge.
After numerous obstacles had finally been surmounted, the Rega crew were able to move into their new base in Winkeln, near Gossau, on 22 December 1984.
In 1989, the HB-XHZ machine was replaced by the HB-XOO, an Alouette III. The next change in helicopter type took place in June 1994, when the crew received a high-performance Agusta A 109 K2. On 19 January 2002, the St. Gallen base flew its 10,000th mission.
On 27 October 2009, the first mission was carried out using Rega's brand new rescue helicopter, AgustaWestland Da Vinci HB-ZRX. St. Gallen was the very first Rega base to fly with this state-of-the-art mountain helicopter.