Rega performed its first rescue missions in the canton of Uri, in central Switzerland, as early as 1966. At that time, Swiss Air-Rescue commissioned the helicopter firm, Heliswiss, to fly missions on its behalf from Erstfeld, primarily for injured mountain climbers and hikers. Over the following years, the number of missions rapidly grew and in 1978, Rega decided to station its own helicopter, an Alouette III with the registration number HB-XFM, in Erstfeld. Since 1 September 2020, an emergency ambulance has been stationed at Erstfeld base. This means that Rega's physician can also be called out if a rescue mission by helicopter is not possible, for example due to bad weather.
Move to a distinctive new building in 1991
In 1980, Rega contracted the services of its own flight physician to deal with medical emergencies in Canton Uri. Three years later, it also hired a pilot and a paramedic. In June 1991, the Uri crew moved into the distinctive new building of the Erstfeld helicopter base and in May 1995 took delivery of a brand new Agusta A 109 K2. Since December 2009, an AgustaWestland Da Vinci helicopter has been in operation in Erstfeld. In 2014, twenty-four years after the construction of what at the time was an ultra-modern helicopter base, the building was completely modernised and an extension was added to bring it up to Rega’s present-day exacting standards.
Mountain base at 460 metres above sea-level
Although located at just 460 metres above sea-level, Rega 8 is regarded as a mountain base. Consequently, in summer its missions mainly involve accidents in the mountains, while during the winter months the crew are frequently called out to attend to injured winter sports enthusiasts. In addition to road and occupational accidents, interhospital transfers play an important role. The centrally located base also frequently receives requests to assist with missions in other regions.
|Radio code||"Rega 8"|
|No. of missions in 2020||829|
|Range of missions|
Due to its central location, the base flies missions to locations in everything from high mountainous regions to the lowlands. Peaks in operations occur in the winter season and in mid-summer.
The crew is on 24-hour standby at the base.
The base building was constructed in 1991 and completely renovated and further extended in 2014.
We are the lowest-lying mountain base in Switzerland.
|The crew's favourite food|
Cordon bleu (preferably with French fries).