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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

Around one in four Rega helicopter missions takes place after dark. Obstacles such as cables or trees, but also changes in weather conditions, are particularly difficult to detect in the dark. Always on board the rescue helicopters are the night-vision devices. Since spring 2021, new devices specially developed for Rega's needs. They amplify the residual light and enable the wearer to "see at night". For the observer, the devices show a greyscale image, the night scene appears more natural than with green contrasts, and the eye is less strained. Shapes and shadows are also much clearer. In addition, the field of vision is 25 percent larger than before. This makes it even easier for pilots to recognise the surroundings and situations, and they can perceive dangers earlier and better and react accordingly.

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.

Long-Line

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.

Ramp

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.