At the beginning, the base was little more than a hut; the rescue helicopter, a Bell 206 Jet Ranger, stood outside in the open air. This was soon replaced by a Bölkow BO 105 CBS, which offered more room and was Rega’s first twin-engine helicopter. From 1983, an Alouette III was also stationed at the Berne base. This helicopter served as a reserve machine for French-speaking Switzerland and was mainly used to perform hoist operations. In 1980, the Berne base carried out its first road rescue in Canton Berne. Since 1984, the Inselspital University Hospital in Berne has been contracted to provide the physicians for Rega’s stand-by medical team.
New building, new helicopter
In autumn 1991, the Rega crew took up residence at the new Berne base. Since then, the hangar, offices and living quarters have been united under one roof. The new building was awarded an environmental award by the airport municipality of Belp for, among other things, its heat pump plant and the landscaping of its flat roof. In 1995, the two helicopters were replaced by an Agusta A 109 K2. Between 2003 and 2018, the Berne base operated an EC 145 helicopter.
First H145 at the Berne base
On 23 October 2018, the first of Rega’s seven new Airbus Helicopters H145 lowland helicopters commenced operations at the base in Berne – thus replacing the EC 145, which during its 15 years of service had proved itself to be a highly reliable and versatile rescue helicopter. On 2 November 2018, Rega presented to the people of Berne their brand new rescue helicopter in the middle of the Bundesplatz.
Typical lowland base
Rega’s Berne base is a lowland base, which accounts for the high proportion of missions relating to road accidents. The number of primary missions (accidents) is more or less on a par with the amount of secondary missions (interhospital transfers). These days, the Berne crew fly around 1,100 missions a year, many of which take them to the Inselspital University Hospital.
|Radio code||"Rega 3"|
|No. of missions in 2020||1,090|
|Range of missions||Occupational accidents, traffic accidents, sports accidents, acute medical illnesses.|
The crew is on 24-hour standby at the base.
|Building||The building was renovated in 2011.|
The base has a so-called wide stretcher to transport obese patients weighing over 150kg and can also perform transports with a heart-lung-machine (ECMO) on board.
|The crew's favourite food|
In summer grilled meat with salad, in winter raclette with potatoes.