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Relief and Rescue Organisation

1.       Introduction to IRCS Relief and Rescue activities


The Central Board of the National Society adopted the first rules and regulations for relief services in 1968. Based on these rules  and regulations, the responsibility of providing health and relief services to the victims of man-made and natural disasters was  entrusted to the National Society.


The first formal relief structure was initiated in 1971 under the supervision of the committee for assisting disaster affected people.


After the victory of the Islamic Revolution in 1979, and the changes in its structure, the National Society focussed its activities on rendering relief in disasters management as well as youth and support services.


In 2000, changing the National Society’s “Relief Organisation” into “Relief and Rescue Organisation” entailed some restructuring, mainly in the area of training and recruitment of professional human resources enabled the organisation to respond disasters more efficiently.


2.       Relief and Rescue Structure


To meet the national mandate of the National Society, the IRCS developed its disaster management and services in the areas of “Preparedness (pre-disaster)”, “Response (at the time of disaster)” and “Recovery (post-disaster)”. It means the Organisation is typically responsible for eventual provision of services at times of disasters.

All branches of the IRCS throughout the country have their well trained relief and rescue teams, which are paid and voluntary workers who act in cooperation with other relevant departments, in the main response areas such as search and rescue of the affected people; first aid service provision; evacuation of the injured to the medical centres, as well as provision of temporary sheltering services for the survivors.


3.       Disaster Response Capacity/Resources  


By the increase in the number and magnitude of disasters in the country, the Relief and Rescue Organisation of the Iranian Red Crescent strengthened its capacity/resources and proven its role in the country as the main partner of the government.


Table A-1 Type of relief and rescue organisation resources in the Iranian Red Crescent



Type of Resources



Permanent Relief Posts and Warehouses (totally in 200,000 Sq meters)



Mobile Relief Posts (especially those set up in holiday seasons, summer and winter times)



Road Relief and Rescue Posts



Coastal Relief and Rescue Posts



Marine Relief and Rescue Posts



Mountain Relief and Rescue Posts



Rescue and Relief Helicopter



Light and heavy relief vehicles including ambulances



The Relief and Rescue Organisation of the IRCS enjoys many training centres for sniffer dogs including a central training premises in Alborz province, in addition there are many sniffing dogs together with one trainer for each in the IRCS provincial branches. The Organisation has also equipped its telecommunication network by VHF, HF and satellite systems within the country. There are a number of VHF radio telecommunication devices, HF radio communication devices, and satellite telecommunication devices.


One trained telecommunication technician is available in each Red Crescent branch and a member of relief and rescue team at the times of disasters in the field. The Organisation is also developing training services for its human resources as it has just organised various training workshops or courses for Red Crescent staff and volunteer members in the past years.