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 heads of operations answer emergency calls around the clock and coordinate more than 17,000 missions at home and abroad. They not only have an overview of the rescue equipment available throughout Switzerland at all times, they also support the crews in their missions. In close contact with the various crew members, airlines and insurance companies, our mission leaders also organise the repatriation of patients from abroad.
For rescues within Switzerland, the flight coordinators can be reached by calling Rega's emergency number 1414. They have five workplaces at their disposal, which in the high season are fully occupied. In order to be able to organise rescues as swiftly as possible, the flight coordinators use highly modern despatch systems. Electronic aids, such as a geographical information system, up-to-date and accurate meteorological data, a modern communication system or the interface to the Rega App.
In the event of medical problems abroad, our Rega flight coordinators answer calls around the clock on the alarm number +41 333 333 333. Whether it's repatriation in one of our ambulance jets or accompanied repatriation in a scheduled aircraft, our operations managers plan and coordinate all foreign missions and are in contact with authorities, hospitals and airports worldwide. They are supported by a team of consulting physicians who provide telemedical advice to patients abroad and, in close consultation with the treating physicians on site, determine when and in what form a return transport is indicated.
Rega's headquarters, the Rega Centre, is situated to the north-east of Zurich-Kloten Airport and has direct access to the aircraft runways. The building comprises a hangar accommodating the three ambulance jets, the maintenance works for the helicopters and air-ambulances, the Operations Centre, recreation rooms for flight staff on stand-by duty, administrative offices, training and lecture rooms, a cafeteria for the approx. 150 members of staff 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 a rescue mission. 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.