Image 1 of 1
Switzerland. Canton Ticino. Locarno Airport LSZL. The Rega base’s official name is Locarno LSMO AFB (Rega 6). On a rainy day after a rescue mission, the paramedic Paolo Menghetti rides a mini tractor and pulls a Rega Agusta AW109 SP Grand "Da Vinci" helicopter in the base. On the left, the chopper used daily for rescue missions. On the right, a second helicopter used during a two weeks program provided as permanent staff training on a turnover basis for Rega crews from allover Switzerland. All Rega helicopters carry a crew of three: a pilot, an emergency physician, and a paramedic who is also trained to assist the pilot for radio communication, navigation, terrain/object avoidance, and winch operations. The name Rega was created by combining letters from the name "Swiss Air Rescue Guard" as it was written in German (Schweizerische Rettungsflugwacht), French (Garde Aérienne Suisse de Sauvetage), and Italian (Guardia Aerea Svizzera di Soccorso). Rega is a private, non-profit air rescue service that provides emergency medical assistance in Switzerland. Rega mainly assists with mountain rescues, though it will also operate in other terrains when needed, most notably during life-threatening emergencies. People in distress can call for a helicopter rescue directly (phone number 1414). As a non-profit foundation, Rega does not receive financial assistance from any government. The AgustaWestland AW109 is a lightweight, twin-engine, helicopter built by the Italian manufacturer Leonardo S.p.A. (formerly AgustaWestland, Leonardo-Finmeccanica and Finmeccanica). Leonardo S.p.A is an Italian global high-tech company and one of the key players in aerospace. In close collaboration with the manufacturer, the Da Vinci has been specially designed to cater for Rega's particular requirements as regards carrying out operations in the mountains. It optimally fulfills the high demands made of it in terms of flying characteristics, emergency medical equipment and maintenance. Safety, perf