Rega is also called out on special missions. Here they generally work closely together with specialised partners.
- Rescues from avalanches and glacier crevasses
- Evacuations from cable cars, gondolas and chairlifts
- Diving accidents
- Search and rescue service for missing aircraft (SAR)
- Search flights for missing persons
- Rescues from caves
- Fire-fighting operations
- Recovery of injured, trapped or dead livestock
More about aerial transports for mountain farmers
The Swiss Alpine Rescue (ARS) foundation was set up by the Swiss Alpine Club (SAC) and Swiss-Air Rescue Rega with the objective of coming to the aid of people who find themselves in serious difficulties in the mountains. The SAC’s helicopter rescue specialists (RSH) are deployed above all on missions in rough terrain, where they are responsible for securing the accident site to enable the emergency physician to attend to the patient without hindrance.
The Swiss Institute of Emergency Medicine SIRMED is a not-for-profit public company and is jointly funded by the Swiss Paraplegic Foundation SPS and Swiss Air-Rescue Rega, each of which holds 50% of the shares. SIRMED’s vision is that every person who finds themselves in an emergency situation in Switzerland is provided with the best possible emergency and acute medical care at the accident site, during transportation, and in hospital. SIRMED’s core competency lies in enabling people to deliver the best possible care to emergency patients. The company offers top-quality education programmes and training courses in the field of emergency and rescue medicine for both professionals and laypeople. It is also actively involved in developing emergency and rescue medicine, as well as the corresponding training courses, in Switzerland. Since it was founded, over 80,000 people have taken part in a SIRMED training course.
In the course of its missions, Rega works closely with the ambulance services. After a road accident, for example, Rega is often called out by the ambulance emergency call centre 144.
Every year, more than 1,600 Rega missions are performed in response to winter sport accidents. Consequently, good cooperation with the piste rescue services is particularly important.
On a number of missions, Rega works together with commercial helicopter firms. Such operations include rescues from avalanches or glacier crevasses, search flights and the recovery of cattle from Alpine pastures.
The Swiss Air Force comes to Rega’s aid particularly when search flights need to be carried out at night. The Air Force has at its disposal helicopters that are equipped with state-of-the-art thermal imaging cameras.
The rescuers from the Swiss cave rescue association, Speleo-Secours Switzerland, are called out via the Rega Operations Centre. Cave rescues are particularly difficult and dangerous, and require highly-trained specialists.
Rega also belongs to the Swiss Rescue Chain, which provides emergency aid in disaster areas abroad. Here Rega’s role is to organise and coordinate the transport of the reconnaissance team to the disaster area, and its Operations Centre and aircraft are also available to undertake further tasks. The Rescue Chain helps, among other things, in countries that have suffered severe earthquakes. It can be ready for takeoff within 8–12 hours of the deployment decision being made and can operate autonomously for up to ten days.
The Swiss Rescue Chain is made up of eight organisations. In addition to Rega, these partner organisations comprise:
Swiss Humanitarian Aid Unit (SHA)
Swiss Seismological Service (SED)
REDOG – Swiss Disaster Dog Association
Swiss Armed Forces/Rescue Troops
Swiss Red Cross (SRC)
Swiss International Air Lines
Are you a Rega operation partner and have a specific request or are interested in a training course on how to work together with a rescue helicopter?