We are an Urban Search and Rescue team responding to natural and man made disasters, using specialist skills and equipment. Our mission is ‘United To Save Life’ and this ethos applies to every action of our volunteer specialists.

IRC President

The President of IRC is The Rt. Hon. The Lord Selkirk of Douglas MSP. QC

The International Rescue Corps has an outstanding record of saving lives, in improving quality of life and maintaining high standards of safety for many within the United Kingdom.
The many missions undertaken in North and South America, in Europe, the Middle East, the Far East, Africa and Russia make the International Rescue Corps a much respected and admired body throughout a great many countries.

The willingness to attend any disaster, natural or man-made, is genuinely admired as is the capacity to mobilise a team or teams to assist in the co-ordination of local and international rescue efforts within a few hours, which is an impressive capability.

Good advance planning and effectiveness in difficult circumstances have led to countless successes. I wish the International Rescue Corps whose professionalism is of the highest standard, every success in the future. Their skills and expertise will always be in demand.

James Selkirk
The Rt. Hon. The Lord Selkirk of Douglas MSP. QC

IRC President

Vice Presidents

Jamie Anderson and George Foulkes (MP) are our current Vice Presidents.

Vice-President – Jamie Anderson. Jamie is the son of the late Thunderbirds creator, Gerry Anderson and said this of his appointment.

‘I’m immensely proud to be carrying on the good work, and helping promote an organisation that stands for all the good things that were constant elements in Gerry Anderson shows, and look forward to doing what I can to help IRC in my new role.’

Our Patron

Simon Weston OBE.

“I am extremely honoured to have been asked to be patron to this wonderful charity. I have always had the utmost respect for everyone who has worked in International Rescue and there can be no better mission motto than that of “United to Save Life”. These guys put the lives of others first and often enough find themselves in areas of peril and danger.
I have had first-hand experience of being rescued from a military conflict and without the knowledge and expertise of those who transported me, I would not be alive today
Responding to man-made and natural disasters, the International Rescue Corps can within 24 hours, even less time sometimes, mobilise themselves and get to the scene of the disaster and save lives. This is not a 9 to 5 organisation. This is a 24 hour a day/7 day a week operation and all of the members of the corps are there for one reason – “United to Save Life”.
I would not only encourage people to donate to this fantastic organisation but to get involved too. Become a member and get involved in the training and you can become part of a rewarding team that changes and saves lives.

I look forward to working with the team and being part of great organisation”.

Best wishes

Simon Weston OBE

Simon Weston OBE Image Courtesy of Alan Hamer
Simon Weston OBE – Image Courtesy of Alan Hamer


Urban Search and Rescue

After receiving a request for help, our aim is to mobilise a self-contained rescue team within minutes for UK missions or within 24 hours for overseas missions.

We are registered with the United Nations allowing us to operate as a search and rescue team under their co-ordination in times of international disaster.

We are supported entirely by donations made by the public and corporate sponsorship. Every penny goes towards saving lives as we do not employ staff in administration, fundraising or any other role in the Corps.

More About Us

We are a UK based charity and offer our services completely free of charge, whether in the UK or overseas.


Responding 24x7

A request for assistance can be made direct to IRC Headquarters or, following news of a disaster being received, we will make the initial contact with the most relevant authorities. Permission to enter a country or attend incidents in the UK is always obtained prior to mobilisation.

The size of a rescue team varies on the nature and location of the incident as well as health and safety requirements which we adhere to. Additional or relief teams can also be despatched as required.

Flexibility of role is essential as teams inevitably become involved in humanitarian work, communications or relief co-ordination.

Whilst mobilised overseas, our teams have the support of IRC headquarters, which is manned 24 hours a day by volunteer staff to maintain communications and close liaison with the host government and international authorities.


38 Years

IRC was formed in 1981 following the Italian earthquake. Having seen the scenes of chaos and devastation portrayed in the media, we were determined that a co-ordinated search and rescue team should be available to attend all future catastrophies, wherever they took place.

It is this determination that has carried us forward to where we are today, as a specialist volunteer search and rescue teams with experience behind us. We have operated for over 30 years with an outstanding track record of saving lives.

The first introduction that many people have to us is when they see the distinctive royal blue overalls in television news footage of a disaster, whether at home or abroad.
You may have seen or read about IRC’s involvement in overseas earthquake search and rescue, taking part in missing person searches or helping rescue the victims of floods in the UK.


Qualified & Experienced Teams

We are a nationwide organisation with an extensive training programme in urban search and rescue for the UK and overseas. We audit teaching methods and assessment processes several times a year.

We are currently rolling out a new modular training programme and all members wishing to become operational, whatever their previous skills or knowledge, must complete and pass the relevant elements of the course before being considered ‘mission ready’.

Training is generally carried out at weekends across the UK and follows an intensive curriculum. Trainees will need to attend training, exercises and assessment weekends in order to gain their individual skills qualifications.

Before being considered for overseas missions the training will also include all the skills needed to carry out missions safely and successfully in different environments.


Image Square - Ambulance

A Reminder

IRC have NO paid staff.
We are ALL volunteers.
ALL donations go to helping IRC operations

We are a UK based charity and due to the voluntary nature of the Corps, combined with the need for extensive training this means that operational membership of the IRC is restricted to residents of the UK.