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Rega – Swiss Air-Rescue, to home page

Special equipment

An air rescue system that is always ready for action and professionally operated requires the appropriate equipment. Rega's special equipment is precisely tailored to each rescue situation and is based on the many years of experience of our rescue crews.

The rescue hoist

The rescue hoist is used when the helicopter is not able to land near to the casualty. The cable of this modern high-tech apparatus can be precisely paid out to a maximum length of 90 metres, and is strong enough to carry two persons. The paramedic also acts as hoist operator. From his position next to the open cabin door, he uses a remote control device to lower the flight physician (and sometimes also the SAC rescuer) down to the injured person. The hoist operator is in contact with the pilot via the on-board radio. He stops the hoist as soon as it is one metre above the ground. Subsequently, the pilot gently lowers the helicopter and sets the doctor down on the ground.

Horizontal net

The horizontal net is used above all to rescue patients with back injuries. It can be easily pulled under the patient's body and is so small that, when folded up, it can be encircled by two hands.

Night-vision goggles

Approximately one in four of Rega's helicopter missions is carried out after darkness has fallen. At night, overhead cables and clouds are very difficult to make out and constitute a permanent threat for the pilots. As Rega pilots also fly according to Visual Flight Rules at night, they use night-vision goggles. These NVGs intensify the existing light by a factor of up to 3,000. This produces a green-coloured image, in which roads, clouds and landscape forms are clearly visible.

Air rescue sack

In the event that the helicopter is not able to land at the scene of the accident, the injured person is rescued by means of the rescue winch. If the patient can only be transported lying down, he is laid in an air rescue sack, hauled up to the helicopter and flown to the nearest possible landing site, where he is transferred into the helicopter.


The long-line system is used to rescue injured mountain-climbers from vertical or overhanging rock faces. An up to 200-metre long rope is suspended from the helicopter, which enables the rescuer to reach the injured person even in high, steep, vertical rock faces. If the injured person is located under an overhanging rock, the rescuer can pull himself towards the rock by means of a telescopic pole.


In order to be able to gently load patients lying on a stretcher trolley into and out of the air-ambulances, Rega has constructed a three-piece ramp made from synthetic fibres, which is permanently installed in the jets.