With its three ambulance jets and its twelve helicopter bases distributed all over the country, Rega is an integral part of primary medical care in Switzerland. Last year, Rega came to the aid of more than 11,500 patients and organised over 17,000 missions.
With its rescue helicopters, Rega transports professional help and state-of-the-art medical care by air directly to the casualty. Thanks to our 12 helicopter bases located throughout Switzerland and one partner base, we are able to reach even remote areas in just a few minutes. Our rescue helicopters are most frequently called out as a result of illness or to deal with winter sports, road, occupational and alpine accidents. Transfer flights from one hospital to another are also an integral part of our services. Almost one quarter of all Rega helicopter missions take place at night – a challenging task for our crews.
The pilot is responsible for the aircraft and ensures that, from an aeronautical point of view, the mission is carried out precisely, swiftly and safely. At the accident site, if necessary he assists his two colleagues in taking care of the casualty and also communicates with the Operations Centre.
In the air, the paramedic assists the pilot in the cockpit by operating the navigation devices and radio. On the ground, she helps the flight physician to administer first aid. If the helicopter is not able to land next to the casualty, the paramedic is in charge of operating the rescue hoist.
The emergency flight physician bears the medical responsibility for the patient. He checks and stabilises their vital functions, decides whether they are fit for transport and determines the most suitable hospital. He is assisted by the paramedic. If necessary, he prepares the patient to be transported with the rescue hoist.
Rega is also there for you around the clock when you are travelling abroad. Depending on the severity of the medical emergency, our medical consultants will advise you over the phone or arrange for you to be flown back home. Our three ambulance jets are equipped as “flying intensive care units” and enable us to also transport patients who are in a critical condition. If the deployment of an ambulance jet is not necessary, patients fly back to Switzerland on board a scheduled airline – professionally accompanied by a member of Rega’s medical staff.
Travellers suffering from serious illnesses or injuries can contact Rega’s medical consultants and flight coordinators by phone around the clock. They will give medical advice, provide addresses of local clinics and hospitals, or help to translate and explain medical diagnoses. However, Rega does not provide emergency assistance abroad. In the event of an accident or serious illness, you should first call out the local rescue services or contact the nearest doctor or hospital. Only then should you call the Rega Operations Centre – for example, to help arrange for you to be admitted to a local hospital or organise repatriation back home to Switzerland.
Seriously ill or injured patients are usually flown back home on one of Rega’s three ambulance jets – particularly if they require intensive medical care. The medical crew on board the Rega jet always comprise at least a flight physician and a flight nurse. As these flights can be planned in advance, two or more patients can also be taken on board (combined flights).
Always call out Rega if you require immediate assistance by a rescue helicopter. For example:
in rough, inaccessible terrain
if swift, gentle transport to a central hospital is necessary (e.g. in the case of suspected stroke, heart attack, back injury, severe burns, etc.)
after an avalanche accident
Contact us if you are abroad and require medical advice or medical treatment is inadequate or not available at all. In many cases, our medical consultants can help you over the phone. Or we will arrange for you to be flown home in a Rega ambulance jet or on a scheduled flight under the professional care of a Rega medical specialist.
Rega’s emergency app has proved its worth in thousands of missions and enables us day after day to come to the aid of people in distress as swiftly as possible. Now we have further improved the Rega app for you and developed some new features in addition to the tried-and-tested alarm function – some of them for Rega patrons.
Good collaboration with our operation partners is essential for the success of a mission. Depending on the type of mission, our helicopter crews also require the assistance of partners with specialised knowledge, expertise and equipment.
Swiss Air-Ambulance can organise and execute medical evacuations and medically escorted repatriations from virtually any country in the world. Our three fully dedicated, long-range ambulance jets are used exclusively for ambulance flights and are fitted out as intensive-care units, guaranteeing top-quality medical assistance.