Rega's Operations Centre organised a total of 17,124 missions in 2018, 7.3 percent more than in 2017. On average, that is equivalent to around two missions per hour - day and night. Rega crews attended to 11,579 patients (+7.3 %), which corresponds to approximately 32 patients per day. The number of patients and missions do not concur because, for example, several patients are transported at the same time or search flights are performed without any patients at all, or because the Rega Operations Centre also organises missions for the mountain rescuers from the Swiss Alpine Club SAC and animal transports on behalf of Swiss mountain farmers.
The hot summer results in numerous helicopter missions
Rega's helicopter crews were in particularly high demand during the summer months: the 12,573 organised missions represent a 6.8 percent rise compared to the previous year. This was partly attributable to the sustained periods of fine weather in summer 2018, which according to the MeteoSchweiz weather service was the third hottest summer since records began in 1864. Rega's helicopter mission statistics reflect the meteorological conditions and the leisure activities of people in Switzerland, and experience has shown that spells of good weather result in more missions. Last year, Rega celebrated a milestone when two new Airbus H145 rescue helicopters were put into operation at its bases in Berne and Basel. By the middle of 2019, Rega will have replaced its entire lowland fleet, comprising six Airbus Helicopters EC145s, with a total of seven helicopters of the successor model, the H145.
Around 1,000 missions with its own ambulance jets
With 980 missions (+10.8 %), Rega's ambulance jets were also in the air more frequently than in the previous year. Patients were flown back to Switzerland on board a scheduled aircraft on 369 occasions, representing an increase of 4.8 percent. On average, Rega organised four missions per day using a fixed-wing aircraft. In 2018, Rega replaced its three Bombardier Challenger CL-604 ambulance jets with the successor model, the Challenger 650.
47,000 new patrons
Rega's patrons enable it to provide air-rescue services for the Swiss population with their annual contributions. Rega was delighted to welcome 47,000 additional patrons as per the end of 2018, which is roughly equivalent to the population of the town of Thun. Currently, 3,483,000 patrons support Rega.