Switzerland's air-rescue service flew more missions than ever in July
Switzerland’s air rescue service, Rega, had an extraordinarily busy month in July, completing more rescue missions than ever before. July marked the first time that Rega has carried out more than 2.000 missions in one month.
Climate change putting pressure on Swiss emergency services
Rega boss Ernst Kohler told the Tages-Anzeiger that one of the reasons behind the sharp increase in missions is due to climate change and the melting of permafrost high in the Swiss mountains and ski resorts. This causes well-known trail routes to change, becoming more dangerous as the ice melts away while also cracking large chunks of rock that can collapse under the weight of hikers.
Another reason for the increased need for air rescue is simply the fact that since the pandemic, more people have found a love for outdoor pursuits such as hiking or mountaineering. This naturally places more pressure on emergency services in Switzerland, especially the specialist work undertaken by Rega.
Rega has been carrying out more missions in recent years
Previously, 2021 was the busiest year for Rega, though it is expected that this year’s figures will surpass last year by some margin. Over the past six months, Rega has flown 25 percent more missions than during the same period last year.
In an interview with the Tages-Anzeiger, Ernst Kohler said that even 10 years ago, 2.120 helicopter missions undertaken by the service in July would have been unthinkable. “10 years ago a so-called 1,000-flight month was remarkable for us,” he explained.