[electronic translation] The commanders of the Swiss Air Rescue Rega organized a total of 16,273 missions last year. While the rescue helicopters were in the air more often than in the previous year, the ambulance jets recorded significantly fewer missions. In addition to its operational activities, Rega supported the Swiss authorities in dealing with the corona pandemic. This is made possible by 3.625 million Rega patrons – a net increase of 73,000 people compared to the previous year.
Rega can look back on an intensive year of operations: In 2020, the Rega Operations Center organized 16,273 operations in Germany and abroad. That is three percent less than last year. The number of patients treated has remained almost unchanged (11,134, -0.3%). On average, the Rega crews helped 31 patients a day. The number of patients and the number of missions are not the same because, for example, several patients may be on board during Rega missions, search flights take place without patient transport and the Rega operations center also carries out missions by the mountain rescuers of the Swiss Alpine Club SAC or animal transports for the benefit of Mountain agriculture organized.
Operations center organized more helicopter missions than ever before
More demand than in the previous year was the helicopter crews, who set off on their missions around the clock from twelve bases across Switzerland and one partner base. With 13,253 (+ 8.1%) missions, the helicopter operations center organized more missions than ever before. Both the rescue operations at the scene of the incident (7,774, +5.6%) and the number of transfer flights from hospital to hospital (2,614, +9.8%) increased. In principle, the rescue helicopter’s operations are subject to natural fluctuations. The figures from 2020 reflect, among other things, the good weather conditions in summer and autumn as well as the leisure behavior of the Swiss population.
Decline in repatriations
Rega helps not only in Switzerland, but worldwide. She ensures that sick or accident patients abroad can be flown to their home country with medical care in one of the three Rega ambulance jets or in a scheduled aircraft. In 2020, international travel almost completely came to a standstill due to the corona pandemic. As a result, Rega repatriated significantly fewer patients from abroad than in the previous year: of the 758 patients (-43.6%), 647 were on board a Rega jet (-33.4%) and 111 on a scheduled aircraft (-70.2%) repatriated. Although the Rega jets flew fewer missions, they were in the air longer overall than in the previous year. The reason for the higher number of flight hours of the three Rega jets (4,589, + 3.2%) were missions in distant countries.
73,000 new Rega patrons
It is only thanks to the solidarity of its patrons that Rega can ensure basic medical care from the air for the benefit of the Swiss population. Rega is delighted to have 73,000 new patrons at the end of 2020, which corresponds to a net increase of 2 percent or more than the population of Lugano. This means that 3.625 million patrons are now keeping Rega in the air.
Transport of 456 Covid-19 patients and support of the authorities
Thanks to the support of its patrons, Rega is ensuring air rescue in Switzerland and repatriations from abroad for the benefit of the Swiss population at all times, even during the corona pandemic. On March 11, 2020, the first confirmed Covid-19 patient was transported on board a Rega helicopter in Ticino. By the end of 2020, Rega had transported a total of 456 Covid-19 infected patients on board its aircraft: 316 of them in the rescue helicopter and 140 on board an ambulance jet. Rega also takes on additional tasks during the pandemic: it supports the Confederation, the cantons and the Swiss population in various ways in dealing with the pandemic with expertise and their infrastructure.
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