Links to nonprofit rescue teams and support groups internationally

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Updated: July 15 2010
Link check: 17 May 2006

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NOTICE: The lists on this page are not inclusive of all groups or individuals working in a particular locale and is incomplete. Inclusion on this list is not an endorsement by Global Crisis. The decision as to which group to contact is up to the user.
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Nonprofit International Rescue Teams
This page includes nonprofit first responder emergency rescue and support teams generally called upon by other emergency organizations or by governments.

If your emergency involves the following, click on it:
   Emergency CPR Not Breathing    Heimlich Maneuver Choking Asthma    Poisoning    Snake Other Venomous Bites or Stings    CPR Dogs, Cats, Birds    Desert Survival    Lightning Safety    Stranded Whales and Dolphins   Wildlife Oil Spill Rescue

Calling for Help
Always contact local emergency operator first (police, fire, ambulance and rescue units). Groups below generally called upon by other emergency organizations or by governments.

When you call local emergency service, always have as much as possible of the following info:

  • exact location
  • type of disaster
  • number of people affected
  • rescue attempts already made
  • your return phone number.
    This helps determine the advice you are given over the phone, type of emergency equipment brought by rescue team, number of team members responding, other types of groups called in to help.

    Emergency News, Support & Coordinating Groups      return to index
  • AlertNet of Reuters News Agency "... provides global news, communications and logistics services to the international disaster relief community and the public. Reuters 150 years' experience reporting from disaster zones around the world allows AlertNet to give disaster relief organisations reliable information, fast. Anyone can access the public pages, which carry a live newsfeed from Reuters together with articles describing how relief agencies are responding to the latest humanitarian crises. Non-governmental aid agencies working in international relief can access additional reference material, a more extensive newsfeed and an area to exchange information between professionals. Agencies can apply online for a password." Newsdesk:Tel: +44 20 7542 3334 Fax: +44 20 7278 9345 Tel: +44 20 7542 2431 Fax: +44 20 7278 9345
  • OCHA Latest Emergency Reports [The Latest][By Country][By Emergency] OCHA-Online United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Source of many reports: UN OCHA Integrated Regional Information Network
  • Emergency Response and Relief Coordination OCHA Involvement in Natural and Environmental Disasters in 2002 & Map (as of 28 Feb 2002) * 2001 Involvement Map Field Coordination Support Section (FCSS) * UNDAC (United Nations Disaster Assessment and Coordination) * INSARAG (International Search and Rescue Advisory Group) * IERCM (International Emergency Response Consultative Mechanism) * Virtual OSOCC (Virtual Operations Coordination Centre) Military, Civil Defense and Logistics OCHA UNEP Unit - Response to environmental, technological and industrial disasters OCHA and Emergency Relief Items - Rapid delivery of emergency relief from Brindisi, Italy Central Register of disaster management capacities Customs Arrangements to facilitate delivery of emergency humanitarian assistance Disaster Response Services * Services Provided * Weekly Highlights * Regional Desks
  • ReliefWeb * ReliefWeb is the world's premier electronic clearinghouse for those needing timely information on humanitarian emergencies and natural disasters designed specifically to help the humanitarian community improve its response to emergencies * Site updated 24 hours a day from 3 international time zones: New York, Geneva, and Kobe * Searchable database of over 150,000 UN documents, policy studies and analyses, dating back to 1981 * Used by government agencies, international bodies, non-governmental organizations, research institutions, the academic community, media and the general public in more than 170 countries * Financial tracking database for 21 complex emergencies "The site's Vacancies section lists job opportunities from more than 300 relief organisations, its training resource provides information about humanitarian training programs worldwide and the financial tracking system allows humanitarians to monitor aid flows by donor, sector and emergency." "...ReliefWeb collects information from more than 700 sources, including humanitarian agencies, governments, NGOs and the media, ..."
    ReliefWeb Listings of Early Warning Sites on Natural Disasters and Conflict and Complex Emergency
  • Disaster! Finder
    A search service provided by the NASA Solid Earth and Natural Hazards Program. This service was created for the disaster community at-large so that the best links in disaster information could be found quickly and easily. Categories Included: Disaster Management (210) new Mitigation, Preparedness, Warnings, Response, Recovery, Relief, Education & Training, Research Disciplines (69) Climate, Communications, GIS, Information Technology, Insurance, Mapping, Medicine, Meteorology, Space General (36) Agreements, Studies, Conferences and Workshops, Other Link Collections Organizations (193) U.S. Federal Departments; Agencies; FEMA Offices; Gov't Emergency Operations Centers; State, County, and City Offices of Emergency Services; Associations; Foreign; International; Professional; Universities; Utility and Private Industry Planning Bodies Systems (18) Observing Systems, Emergency Management Systems, GIS Software Type (114) Animals, Avalanche, Behavior, Building, Comets & Asteroids, Drought, Earthquake, Environment, Epidemiology, Famine, Farming, Fire, Flooding, Forestry, General, Landslide, Nuclear, Refugees, Sociology, Psychology, Storms, Tsunami, Volcanoes, War
  • ICG International Crisis Group English French Russian Spanish private, multinational organisation committed to strengthening the capacity of the international community to anticipate, understand and act to prevent and contain conflict. Country projects and visiting analysts analyse the causes of crisis in many areas of the world and set out a strategy for change. Produces media reports and background briefings to media based on analysis and hosts breaking news impacting crises in project areas. email:
  • Natural Hazards Data Resources Directory The Natural Hazards Data Resources Directory is a resource for the Disaster and Hazard Management Community of Practitioners and Research Scholars and the general public. The Directory includes two types of information: 1) data resources organized by natural hazard topic; and 2) lists of hazard-related organizations Covers Geological Hazards, Meteorological Hazards, and Societal Response.
  • National Interagency Fire Center Boise, Idaho 208-387-5512 News active fires and statistics.
  • CBS NEWS DISASTER LINKS Comprehensive worldwide listing of sites relating to all kinds of disasters and related organizations.
  • Center for International Disaster Information
    Up-to-date International Humanitarian Situation Reports
    Up-to-date International Disaster Situation Reports
    Disaster guidelines, Disaster Assistance Registration Database, Understanding Disasters and Humanitarian Response, CIDI news
  • The Disaster Research Center "DRC research yields both basic social science knowledge on disasters and information that can be applied to develop more effective plans and policies to reduce disaster impacts. Besides maintaining its own databases, DRC serves as a repository for materials collected by other agencies and researchers. DRC's specialized library, which contains the world's most complete collection on the social and behavioral aspects of disasters--now numbering more than 50,000 items--is open to both interested scholars and agencies involved in emergency management."

    "...Past DRC studies have focused on such topics as emergency medical and mental health service delivery in disasters, community responses to acute chemical hazards, and mass evacuation and sheltering. In other projects, DRC has studied preparations for and responses to major community disasters by lifeline organizations, community earthquake mitigation and emergency preparedness..."

    Links at Disaster Research Center to other Research Centers, Mitigation, Reducing Risk and Vulnerability, Response, Recovery, and Assistance, other links source

    Phones to Call for Rescue Assistance return index

    If you have questions to ask about the progress of a rescue, please do not use the numbers below but click on source next to organization name below for contact advice.
  • These responders list themselves as nonprofit international as well as national responders for major emergencies.
    Worldwide Listings
  • International Rescue Corps (IRC) Telephone +44(0)1324-665011 FAX +44(0)1324-666130 Press phone:+44(0)7786 881908 Help in earthquakes, mudslide, hurricane, logistics, aid work source
  • RAPID UK source is one of the few non-governmentally funded response teams in the world to maintain a global response capability to humanitarian disasters. Equipped with ever more sophisticated technology RAPID teams make an essential contribution to global humanitarian assistance. Emergency Contact 00 44 (0)1452-883233
  • ZAKA Rescue and Recovery source 718-972-9304 Brooklyn, NY     1-877-ZAKA-911 Israel
    Search and Rescue Unit One of ZAKA's main departments is its Search and Rescue Units launched in conjunction with the Israel Defense Forces. Hundreds of ZAKA volunteers qualified as certified rescuers after participating in The Homeland Security Command's carefully designed courses. These volunteers comprise a civil volunteer unit that requires the help of many professionals. The Rescue Unit has a special team that is responsible for Mountain climbing and Gliding Rescue. A select team of physically fit and qualified volunteers rescue victims in distress, both in nature and urban places.
    Rapid Rescue Unit The Motorcycle Unit for Rapid Rescue founded in 2001, enabled ZAKA to provide a quicker response to medical emergencies. The motorcycles agility and speed enabled them to save precious minutes that make the difference between life and death. The unit, with its mobility, advanced technology and professional treatment, has saved dozens of lives. Today, the continuously expanding unit boasts 92 motorcycles deployed throughout the country and is the spearhead of Israel emergency medical services.
    Internationally - In addition to its work in Israel, ZAKA also provides help internationally. (U.S. U.K. France, South Africa, etc.) ZAKA maintains contact with police services and authorities throughout the globe to ensure rapid and efficient assistance.
  • NVNAD source (Japanese English language site) The Nippon Volunteer Network is active in disaster internationally. It is based in Nishinomiya, Hyogo, Japan TEL:+81-78-231-9011 FAX:+81-78-231-9022 email:
  • RESCUE INTERNATIONAL Emergencies Only 570-424-5782 Please only official emergency calls. Other calls: 570-424-7620 570-424-7630 Fax
    Education From Experience. Delaware Water Gap, Pennsylvania. E-Mail us at source "A nonprofit association of people, response teams and companies that provide special search, rescue, and recovery services and products to requesting agencies free of charge. RI's educational programs are based on a foundation of experienced instructors teaching students skills and providing information derived from hands on experience and supported with a written program guide and/or manual. RI has a number of search and rescue training programs available. RI's canine programs will help train SAR Canine handlers and their dog to reach a minimum Canine Training Standard for each area of operational ability." ----------------------------
  • British Civil Defence Telephone for Emergencies: + 44 (0) 1205 280144 Telephone Office Hours: + 44 (0) 1205 280280 source "Non-governmental voluntary civil protection organisations united and dedicated to saving life and alleviating suffering nationally and world-wide." Nationally: All search and rescue and emergency technical aid teams can only be called out by the Civil Authorities. In the UK this means the Police, Fire and Ambulance Services and Emergency Planning Officers of Local or National Government Departments. People in need of emergency assistance should contact these agencies. The only exception to this rule is with regard to the National Animal Rescue Service (NARS) who may be called out within the UK by the general public as well as the emergency services. Internationally: British Civil Defence Teams respond to calls for assistance from; the British government, it's embassies and High Commissions, overseas governments, their embassies and consulates, other governments agencies, non-government humanitarian aid and civil defence/protection agencies.

    Sites with Selected Lists of Search and Rescue Teams to index

  • The Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Response Association, International (DERA) source includes: alerts & emergency information, special events, emergency management information sources, emergency management associations, emergency communications, news sources, security and safety. "...assist[s] communities worldwide in disaster preparedness, response and recovery, and to serve as a link for professionals, volunteers, and organizations active in all phases of emergency preparedness and management."
  • Global Emergency Management System list many links related to emergency management disaster response and mitigation, medical in all kinds of situations - mainly for United States. Part of the FEMA Federal Emergency Management Agency. source
  • National Search and Rescue Secretariat - Canada source extensive list including some international links
  • Search And Rescue Links source Rescue Coordination Centre Network. A Forum for the discussion and development of Aeronautical and Maritime Search and Rescue topics.
  • NASAR Supports SAR resource database fully detailed on SAR and K9 teams - mainly U.S. source NASAR is a non-profit membership association comprised of thousands of dedicated paid and non-paid professionals - all active or interested in search and rescue, disaster aid, emergency medicine and awareness education Telephone: (703) 222-6277 fax: (703) 222-6283 Virginia U.S.
  • SARINFO: SAR-Team Links - Extensive listing of SAR teams: Ground SAR, airborne SAR, canine SAR, cave SAR, marine SAR, mounted SAR, SAR groups, SAR trackers, ski patrol groups, urban SAR, whitewater/dive SAR source
  • International Lifesaving Websites for many nations mainly marine rescue source Includes national coast guard and voluntary non governmental organizations hosted by US Coast Guard Auxiliary
  • DMOZ Open Directory Project Listing for Search and Rescue source Mainly U.S. some Canada.
  • New listing Mounted Search and Rescue: Unit Websites Worldwide MSAR units having a web presence of some form and accept volunteers. unofficial listing of MSRA units.

    Underwater Rescue Teams and Services      return to index

  • International Underwater Cave Rescue and Recovery source "The mission ... is to support all Public Safety Agencies in the rescue and/or recovery of victims in an underwater environment (with an overhead obstruction such as caves, caverns, mine shafts, etc.)." In an emergency, see site for full list of U.S. and International Regional Coordinators. If your country or region is not listed, contact or Director: Mark Fowler (H) (804) 642-1 147 (Pager) (757) 872-3535 | (Cell) (757) 329-8773 Assistant Director: Larry Green cell:352-239-3616; home: 386-497-3494
  • Volunteer Underwater Search and Rescue Unit - Telford Vol. Diving and Rescue Unit Harleysville PA 19438 email:, USA Tel: 610-287-8911. Founded in 1947. 100% Volunteer. Utilizing Surfaced Supplied Diving Systems and SCUBA. Also capable of Water Rescue operations. Primary Surface Supplied Diving apparatus is the SL 27, though the unit still utilizes, the KMB 10, Mk 12, and the Mk V. Some of our missions have taken us to New York, Ohio, New Jersey and even across the border into Canada. If this is an emergency, have your local county dispatch contact Montgomery County Dispatch in Pennsylvania to contact the Captain of the Telford Diving and Rescue Unit, Station 64.

    K9 Rescue Teams and Services      return to index

  • National Animal Rescue Service. (NARS) of the British Civil Defence NARS May be called out by genenal public within UK. Telephone for Emergencies: + 44 (0) 1205 280144, Telephone Office Hours: + 44 (0) 1205 280280 source "The UK - first nation to field national and international animal rescue teams (National Animal Rescue Association, (NARA)) to respond to emergencies involving animals world-wide. Since its inception in 1969, NARS volunteer officers have carried out over 50,000 rescue missions by land, sea and air both in the UK and abroad. Also all British Civil Defence Teams have at least two NARS officers within its ranks while working abroad. Officers are trained and certificated to carry out life saving responses both for humans and animals..."
  • International Rescue Dog - Organization (English German language site) source Austria Tel/Fax: +43-(0)2748-6665, eMail: It is the worldwide umbrella for those national rescue dog organizations who want to save human lives by training their dogs for rescue missions. Member groups from over 25 countries.
  • CANIS Specialist Search Dogs source UK "Canis is a team of experienced rescue personnel who train and use dogs to search for persons who are buried under collapsed buildings or have become lost in an urban environment. We are members of the International Rescue Dog Organisation ( Vienna) and have membership of the International Emergency Technical Rescue Institute." email
  • RCMP Civilian Search Dog Association 780-412-5489 Alberta Canada source Beemstraat 74, 5311 AD Gameren Tel. +31 (0)418 562187 fax +31 (0)418 564027 ALARM (24 hour) +31 (0)6 53368523
  • IRG International Rescue Dog Group IRG Internationale Reddingshonden Groep Netherlands (Dutch and English language site) source Beemstraat 74, 5311 AD Gameren In case of emergency (24 hour) +31 (0)6 533 68 523. Other Tel. +31 (0)418 562187 fax +31 (0)418 564027 * Specialized in search and rescue in area and rubble * Cadaver search dogs * Water search dogs * Cooperation with police and fire department E-mail:

    K9 Lists

  • Google listing for Search Dogs source
  • SAR and SAR Dog Internet Resources U.S. and Canada Dog-related SAR sites, Canine SAR sites from other places in the world, Web articles on training, General SAR info and major sites, Miscellaneous sites and equipment providers source
  • Search (SAR) Dogs Search and Rescue Society of British Columbia source National and international links

    Protocols and Research      return to index

  • (pdf) Urban Search and Rescue (US&R) Incident Support Team (IST) Operations Manual source Federal Emergency Management Agency
    Training Manuals: Incident Support Team Student Manual, Structural Collapse Technician Course - Student Manual, Medical Specialist Training Manual, Logistics Specialist Training Manual
  • International Strategy for Disaster Reduction source "Enabling all societies to become resilient to the effects of natural hazards and related technological and environmental disasters, in order to reduce human, economic and social losses." International Strategy for Disaster Reduction Palais des Nations CH-1211 Geneva 10 Tel: +41 22 9172103/762/759 Fax: +41 22 9170563
  • The Global Earthquake Safety Initiative (GESI) Reducing risk from earthquakes source Also see GeoHazards Internatinal GHI initiates natural hazard safety projects in developing countries. These projects assess risk, raise awareness of the risks, build local institutions to manage the risk, and strengthen schools to protect and train the community's future generations.

    Training in Rescue      return to index

  • NASAR National Association for Search and Rescue source Telephone: (703) 222-6277 FAX: (703) 222-6283 Virginia U.S.
    Search and Rescue Courses Specialty Courses: Introduction to the Incident Command System (Homestudy), Basic Water Rescue Preparedness(BWRP), NASAR River Rescue, NASAR Ice Rescue, Search and Rescue Medical Responder (SARMR), Incident Commander: Emergency Response (IC:ER), Instructor Workshops: Certification Examinations: SARTECH I, II, III, Crew Leader III, Certification Evaluators Workshops
  • Dive Rescue International source email:, Fort Collins, Colorado Tel: (970) 482-0887 Toll Free: 1-800-248-3483 Fax: (970)482-0893 Dive Rescue I fundamentals, Current Diving - Technical Series, Diving in Polluted Environments - Technical Series, Ice Diving Operations - Technical Series, Light Salvage and Recovery- Technical Series, Surface-Supplied Air - Technical Series, Underwater Crime Scene Technician - Technical Series, Dive Rescue II - Technical Series
  • Natinal Incident Management Sysstem source NIMS was developed so responders from different jurisdictions and disciplines can work together better to respond to natural disasters and emergencies, including acts of terrorism.
    National Incident Management System Training
    Emergency Management Institute
    National Fire Academy

    Medical Resources      return to index

  • eMedicine.home
    Wilderness Emergency eMedicine.wild Extensive internal links to wilderness first aid.
    Emergency Medicine (professional: very small annual fee)
    Complete treatment of most conditions encountered
    "...largest and most current clinical knowledge base available to physicians and health professionals. Nearly 10,000 physician authors contribute to the eMedicine Clinical Knowledge Base with coverage of 7,000 diseases and disorders. The evidence-based content provides current practice guidelines in 62 medical specialties, and is kept current 24/7. All of eMedicine's original content undergoes four levels of physician peer review plus an additional review by a PharmD."
  • Remotemedics Online source Remote Support Medic Online is a site for medics run by medics. email:

    Education in Safety return to index

  • Wilderness Energy Resources (nonprofit) source "Wilderness Emergency Resources provides education and resources that address the specific issues faced in wilderness and remote settings. We accomplish this by conducting free educational programs, promoting outdoor safety, providing resources, and distributing information related to the safety of outdoor participants. Our services include offering free clinics and workshops, conducting public outreach and research (Trail Bench), creating and distributing safety education materials, promoting continuing education through our Safety-Links, and by providing buying guides (being developed) on essential safety related equipment and books." tel: 303-926-8547 or email:

    Satellite Communication      return to index

  • COSPAS-SARSAT source English French Russian Since its inception in 1982 the Cospas-Sarsat System has provided distress alert information which has assisted in the rescue of over 12,500 persons in over 3,700 distress situations. In 2000 the System provided information which was used to rescue 1,520 persons in 386 distress situations.
    COSPAS-SARSAT are satellite systems that work as one. SARSAT - operated by Canada, France and the United States - stands for Search And Rescue Satellite-Aided Tracking. COSPAS, operated by Russia, performs the equivalent function. COSPAS-SARSAT satellites orbit the Earth. They are able to receive signals from emergency radio beacons and relay them to ground stations, which, in turn, process the signals to determine where the beacon is located. The ground stations then relay this information to search and rescue authorities. For an overview of the system by a participating member. Cospas-Sarsat Secretariat UK Telephone: +44 20-7728 1391 Facsimile: +44 20-7728 1170
  • Global Positioning System Overview by Peter H. Dana University of Colorado at Boulder Detailed discussion of GPS: source
    Standard Positioning Service (SPS): "Civil users worldwide use the SPS without charge or restrictions. Most receivers are capable of receiving and using the SPS signal. The SPS accuracy is intentionally degraded by the DOD by the use of Selective Availability.
    SPS Predictable Accuracy
    100meter horizontal & 156meter vertical accuracy
    340 nanoseconds time accuracy "

    [NOT EMERGENCY NUMBERS] Selected Governmental Agencies Directing and Administering Rescue Work      return to index

  • [Australia] Australian Search and Rescue (AusSAR) source A national centre has been established by the Federal Government for coordination of Australia's civil search and rescue (SAR) activities. Australia, as a signatory to the International Safety of Life at Sea Convention 1974 and the International Search and Rescue Convention 1979, is responsible for search and rescue over a vast area of the Indian, Pacific and Southern oceans. Courses offered: Search and Rescue Officer (Maritime), Search and Rescue Officer (Aviation), Senior Search and Rescue Officer (Maritime), Senior Search and Rescue Officer (Aviation)
  • [Canada] Canadian National Search and Rescue Secretariat English and French source Call toll-free at 1-800-727-9414 for services in English and French Fax: (613) 996-3746
  • [U.K.] The Mountain Rescue Council source is an autonomous co-ordinating body to which all the various regional bodies belong together with the British Cave Rescue Council and the Search and Rescue Dogs Association. The membership of the Council extends to cover the Association of Chief Police Officers, H.M. Coastguard, RAF Search and Rescue, The Home Office Radio Branch and Fire Service Inspectorate, The Sports Council and the Association of Chief Ambulance Officers. It is again a voluntary body and a registered charity. Its main function is to liaise on behalf of the teams with the various government departments in the running of Mountain and Cave Rescue.
    Mountain Rescue Teams: source Contains Rescue Team Links and SAR & Outdoors links
  • [U.S.] FEMA Federal Emergency Management Agency Phones & Listing of State Offices and Agencies of Emergency Management to contact in Emergency source English and Spanish
    FEMA homepage English and Spanish List active disasters by state. Task Forces - there are 28 FEMA US&R Task Forces spread throughout the continental United States trained and equipped by FEMA to handle structural collapse. Incident Support Teams - support the US&R Task Forces in accomplishing their mission through logistical, electronic and coordination expertise. There are individual assistance programs (an overview of individual assistance programs) that assist people and businesses following a disaster and help you get back on your feet. The Public Assistance Program provides supplemental federal disaster grant assistance to help state and local governments and certain private non-profit organizations rebuild. Emergency Response and Salvage Steps Mobile Emergency Response Support (MERS) Disaster Assistance for Older Americans FTC Consumer Alert -- After A Disaster: Repairing Your Home Readiness, Response & Recovery covers the following items: Individual Assistance Public Assistance Hazard Mitigation Urban Search and Rescue Tribal Policy Preparedness Library Response & Recovery Library

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