Rega Swiss Air-Rescue had record breaking year

Rega Swiss Air-Rescue had record breaking year

Swiss Air-Rescue (Rega) has revealed that they saved a record number of lives in 2021, ferrying injured people from the mountains to hospitals in Switzerland using their fleet of helicopters. Founded in 1952, Rega is an integral part of the emergency services, as they are able to reach medical emergencies in the hardest-to-find places.

Swiss Air-rescue recorded over 18.000 missions

In a statement on Tuesday, Rega announced that 2021 was the “busiest in its history,” with staff rescuing more than 12.000 people throughout Switzerland. The air rescue unit performed 18.017 missions last year, an increase of 10,7 percent on the year before, the majority of which were helicopter operations.

Along with its regular visits to Swiss ski resorts, Rega also recorded a record number of operations with its three ambulance jets, mainly used to repatriate patients who fell ill abroad. Its three jets, operating out of airports in Switzerland, ferried over 800 patients from countries around the world back home.

Rega integral to medical services in the mountains

Rega also recognised its integral role during the COVID pandemic; throughout the crisis, Rega said it “continued to support Swiss hospitals as a coordination centre by organising the distribution of [COVID] patients among intensive care units.”

Rega remains a non-profit organisation, meaning that it relies on some forms of health insurance and donors who subscribe to the service. Rega recorded an increase of 53.000 donors in 2021, meaning 3,7 million people donate to the organisation each year. Rega said that its 400 employees are “at the disposal of the Swiss people, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.” 

Jan de Boer


Jan de Boer

Editor for Switzerland at IamExpat Media. Jan studied History at the University of York and Broadcast Journalism at the University of Sheffield. Though born in York, Jan has lived most...

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