Is there an organization of people who operate an International Rescue Service?

International Rescue Corps From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Jump to: navigation, search International Rescue Corps or IRC is one of the few truly independent front-line search and rescue organisations in the world. It is a UK registered charity, financed solely by donations and fund raising, and manned totally by volunteers. Motto: "UNITED TO SAVE LIFE" Contents [hide] 1 About IRC 2 Operations 3 Trivia 4 See also 5 External link [edit] About IRC The International Rescue Corps is an independent (i.e. non-governmental funded) United Nations Registered disaster rescue service. The IRC is a charity, supported entirely by donations from the public and sponsorship from industry. Formed in 1981 in the aftermath of the Italian earthquake, the Corps became operational in 1985 and has since undertaken numerous missions at home and across the world. In many cases, missions are co-operative efforts working alongside other agencies. All Operational Members are required to satisfactorily complete the IRC's own training programme and to participate in local, national and international exercises. Equipment training is commonly carried out at local level while national and international exercises are specifically designed to simulate field conditions. An autonomous organisation, the IRC is constitutionally bound to attend all natural or man made disasters irrespective of race, creed or politics. Its membership was drawn principally from the Emergency Services but now includes members from all walks of life as well as those with particular skills such diving, structural engineering, medical services etc, there are those who are shop workers, government officials, students and hospital workers. Its success depends not only on their ability in the field but also on their efforts to raise funds to support their work. All the IRC's services are provided free of charge, its aim is purely to save life. [edit] Operations The IRC is continually seeking to expand its expertise to cope with the wide range of prospective disaster scenarios. Their satellite communication systems enables them to provide a reconnaissance and co-ordination service for the United Nations (UN). The prime function of the IRC is as a First Phase rescue team, and principally casualty location. The team goes prepared to assist in the co-ordination of the local/multinational rescue effort and includes a doctor/paramedic who gives assistance to casualties as well as ensuring the fitness of the team members. Flexibility of role is essential as teams inevitably become involved in humanitarian work, although the IRC has no capability to provide either full scale medical support or relief for survivors. It is the aim of the IRC to mobilise a self-contained rescue team within 24 hours if overseas, or within minutes if UK, of a request for help being received. Equipment taken by the team will vary according to the nature of the disaster. The principal items include thermal image camera sound detector fibre optic probe thermic lance portable generators lights water purification equipment. Each team member is equipped with a tent and fifteen days supply of food which allows the team to operate without imposing any additional strain on the host country. The size of the initial team will consist of approximately 15 people with additional or relief teams despatched as required. As well as the ability to operate the specialised equipment, some of which has to be specially imported into this country, team members require a working knowledge of the construction of buildings and structures, their behaviour prior to and during collapse, flammable and explosive material as well as rescue techniques from fire, vehicles, aircraft, vessels and from climatic extremes. Rescue work of this type can be very unpleasant and requires coolness in harrowing circumstances. Team members must be able to work as part of a close-knit integrated team, yet also be able to work independently and show initiative. They must be level headed, calm and clear thinking in a highly stressed situation. The success of any mission depends not only on having sufficient experienced personnel and equipment from the many international agencies available, but also on the ability to co-ordinate them into a unified, controlled operation. In any major disaster there are never enough skilled personnel to carry out all the tasks required in the initial stages. There is, however, usually a proliferation of unskilled help available. Team members have experience in the organisation and instruction necessary to involve local inhabitants effectively in the rescue effort. Many unskilled personnel, particularly relatives of the victims, will want to involve themselves in the rescue work. It is better to harness this effort rather than allow it to run parallel to, or indeed at cross purposes to, the professional rescue work. [edit] Trivia In the 1960's British television series Thunderbirds, the name of the organization is International Rescue. The characters also selflessly rescue people in danger all around the world, but with the aid of supersonic aircraft.