Rega, February 02, 2023 - In 2022, Swiss Air-Rescue Rega came to the aid of more patients than ever before in its 70-year-old history: over 14,000 people in distress, at home and abroad, received professional medical assistance by air.
On doing so, both Rega’s 20 helicopters and its three ambulance jets were in the air more frequently than ever.
Last year, the Rega Operations Centre organised a total of 20,992 missions, which is 16.5 percent more than in the previous year and corresponds to an average of 58 missions per 24-hour period.
For the first time, the Rega crews transported over 14,000 patients in the course of a year.
The number of patients and missions do not concur because on Rega missions, several patients may be transported at the same time, for example, or search flights are performed without any patients at all.
Furthermore, among other things, the Rega Operations Centre also organises missions for the mountain rescuers from the Swiss Alpine Club SAC, as well as livestock transports on behalf of Swiss mountain farmers.
The helicopter flight coordinators at Rega’s national air-rescue coordination centre organise the missions carried out by the 14 Rega bases countrywide, as well as those flown by its partner organisations. Last year, they coordinated a total of 16,256 helicopter missions, which is almost 2,000 more missions than in the previous year (+13.4 %).
Especially with a high amount of activity, this central coordination ensures that, taking into account all the ongoing missions, the nearest suitable rescue helicopter is always called out and that medical assistance reaches the casualties as quickly as possible.
National air-rescue coordination centre organised more helicopter missions than ever before
Registering an increase were both the rescue missions by the helicopter crews at the incident site (9,813, 16.2 %) and the number of transfer flights from smaller hospitals to central ones (3,057, +7.1 %).
Generally speaking, the missions performed by the Rega helicopters are subject to natural fluctuations. The figures for 2022 reflect, among other things, the fine weather and the leisure activities of the Swiss population. According to the MeteoSchweiz weather service, 2022 was the sunniest year since records began.
Rega comes to the aid of people in distress not only in Switzerland, but also all over the world. It arranges for patients who have become seriously ill or injured abroad to be flown back home to Switzerland on board one of Rega’s three ambulance jets or on a scheduled aircraft, accompanied by a member of Rega’s medical staff.
In 2022, the Rega jets took to the air more often than ever before: the Rega crews repatriated 1,045 patients on board its ambulance jets (+21.8 %) and 233 on scheduled aircraft (+108.0 %). This rise in the number of repatriations is attributable to the resumption of international travel on the part the Swiss population, which declined significantly during the coronavirus pandemic.