Operating with highly modern equipment
23 January: On the return flight after a mission, the Rega crew from the Lausanne base receive a distress signal from a small aircraft that has crashed. They immediately start searching for the point of origin of the signal and notify the Rega Operations Centre. The Operations Centre calls out the Rega helicopter from the Wilderswil base as support, which is equipped with the IR/EOS multi-sensor search system. With the aid of a direction finder and the ultra-sensitive thermal imaging camera, the crew succeed in locating the crashed aircraft in the middle of a forest near Saint-Légier-La Chiésaz (Canton Vaud).
11 March: The Rega crew from the Locarno base transports Rega’s first confirmed Covid-19 patient on board a Rega helicopter. The patient needs to be transferred from the hospital in Mendrisio to Locarno Regional Hospital. By the end of the year, the helicopter crews will have transported a total of 316 Covid-19 patients on board their aircraft.
2 April: For the first time, a Rega crew transports two patients simultaneously on board an ambulance jet in separate patient isolation units (PIU). A Swiss married couple who contracted Covid-19 during a cruise need to be repatriated from the Caribbean island of St.Martin.
1 September: Rega stations an emergency doctor vehicle at its Erstfeld base. Now the Rega emergency physician on duty can also be called out when a mission with the rescue helicopter is not possible, for example, due to bad weather. A similar vehicle is already being successfully used at the Mollis base in Canton Glarus.
22 September: Rega invites representatives from the Air Force, employees from various police forces and mountain rescuers from home and abroad to the training event, "Ricerca – emergency search for missing persons", at its Wilderswil base. The main focus is placed on concrete mission examples and the exchange of experiences between the various organisations. Diverse rescue resources are presented, including the Rega drone.
30 October: The Swiss Confederation issues a press release informing the general public that Rega’s Helicopter Operations Centre has been entrusted with the task of acting as the "national coordination centre for intensive care units". As a result, the flight coordinators will, where necessary, help Swiss hospitals to find empty intensive care beds.
25 February: A five-year-old girl went missing at the Muottas Muragl mountain station (GR). The Rega crew that was called out was able to locate the child thanks to the IR/EOS multisensor search system. The successful rescue operation was carried out with the support of the SOS piste rescue service, the mountain rescuers of the Swiss Alpine Club SAC and the Graubünden cantonal police.
14 April: Every fourth helicopter mission carried out by Rega takes place at night. Rega crews have been using night-vision equipment for over 30 years to bring medical help from the air to people in distress, even in the dark. Since this week, new night-vision equipment specially developed for Rega's needs has been in use.
20 September: Rega purchases a new helicopter simulator. Thanks to an interchangeable cockpit, Rega crews will in future be able to carry out training for different types of helicopter in the same simulator. The new simulator is currently being developed and is scheduled to go into operation in mid-2023.
20 December: With the stationing of a rescue helicopter in Sion (VS), Rega strengthens its national air-rescue operations from Christmas onwards. The helicopter is stationed in collaboration with the local company Héli-Alpes SA.
2 May: Rega celebrates its 70th anniversary in the presence of the President of the Swiss Confederation, Ignazio Cassis. The event is attended by representatives from the fields of politics, business and healthcare, as well as operation partners. In his address, the Federal President speaks about the significance of Rega for the Swiss healthcare system. During its anniversary year, Rega is planning various activities to give the Swiss population the opportunity to take a look behind the scenes at Rega.
29 June: A new agreement between Canton Geneva, Geneva University Hospitals (HUG) and Rega marks the continuation of a decades-long partnership for the benefit of patients. Rega is to station a new five-bladed Airbus H145 helicopter in Geneva. In order to do so, it first needs to enlarge the existing hangar. During the conversion of the helicopter base, bedrooms for the crew members will also be built, so that in future they can also be present at the base at night.
29. September: Rega and Italian helicopter manufacturer Leonardo terminate the agreement to purchase three new AW169-FIPS rescue helicopters with a Full Ice Protection System as it is not possible to develop them in accordance with the contractually agreed specifications. Delivery of the three rescue helicopters had been scheduled for 2023.
5. December: After Rega purchased nine H145 helicopters with the innovative five-blade rotor in March, an agreement is signed to procure a further 12 rescue helicopters of this type. The in total 21 new rescue helicopters will be in service at all Rega bases from 2024, thus replacing the AW109SP Da Vinci fleet currently deployed at Rega’s mountain bases.