In Switzerland, Rega operates 12 helicopter bases, as well as a partner base in Geneva. Since August 2019, it also has a training base in Grenchen, in Canton Solothurn. Our helicopter bases are distributed throughout the country in such a way that we can fly to any location within Rega’s operational area within 15 minutes. The three ambulance jets are stationed at the Rega Centre, our headquarters at Zurich Airport, from where they take off on missions to all corners of the globe.
The Operations Centre is the heart of Rega. Here the flight coordinators answer emergency calls around the clock and coordinate more than 17,000 missions every year, both at home and abroad. The flight coordinators have an overview at all times of the available rescue resources throughout Switzerland and support the crews during the missions. They also arrange for patients to be repatriated from abroad in close collaboration with the various crew members, airlines and insurance companies.
For rescues within Switzerland, our flight coordinators can be contacted by calling Rega’s emergency number 1414. They are responsible for coordinating all the rescue resources of Rega and its partner organisations (e.g. Swiss Alpine Rescue or commercial helicopter firms) and ensure constant communication with the crews during the mission. To do this they use an integrated dispatch system, which unites technical aids such as a geographical information system, accurate and up-to-date meteorological data, a state-of-the-art communication system and the interface to the Rega emergency app.
Our flight coordinators handle calls that come in around the clock via Rega’s emergency number +41 333 333 333 from people suffering from health problems abroad. Whether a repatriation on board one of our ambulance jets or an escorted flight on a scheduled airline, our flight coordinators plan and coordinate all the missions from abroad and are in contact with official authorities, hospitals and airports all over the world. They are supported by a team of medical consultants, who provide the patients abroad with medical advice over the phone and, in close consultation with the local doctors in attendance, decide whether, when and in what form repatriation is indicated.
Rega's headquarters is situated to the north-east of Zurich-Kloten Airport and has direct access to the runways. The building houses a hangar for the three ambulance jets, a maintenance works for the helicopters and jets, the Operations Centre, recreation rooms for the flight crew on stand-by duty, administrative offices, training and lecture rooms, a cafeteria for the approximately 150 employees based here, and a large materials store.
Rega operates its own nationwide radio network of 42 stations to enable its flight coordinators to support the helicopters crews during the rescue missions. This also includes an emergency channel, which is monitored by the Operations Centre and can be used by anyone to raise the alarm in an emergency.