We are an International Rapid Response Team.
We provide relief services to survivors of disasters with skills in:
• Search and Rescue
• Emergency Medicine
• Trauma Counseling
• Fire Suppression
• Refugee Reception
We are ALL Volunteers
Each member of the team pays for their own training, gear and deployment costs.

We help in developing nations – those that need it the most.
We have been to disasters around the world, including:
• Central America (Hurricane Mitch)
• Iraq (assisting with those wounded in the aftermath of the war.)
• Philippines (typhoons/mudslides)
• Pakistan (2005 Earthquake)
• New York City (9/11)
• Indonesia (2004 Tsunami)
• Samoa (2009 Tsunami)
• Indonesia (2009 Earthquake)
• Haiti (2010 Earthquake)
• Oklahoma (2013 Tornados)
• Philippines (2013 Typhoon)
• Nepal (2015 Earthquake)

RescueNet was originally the God given vision of Brett Harwood from the United States of America. From 1986 onwards, when he established RescueNet, he took medical teams into different situations in Central America. It soon became quite apparent that the one team they had wouldn’t be able to respond to all situations every time and a larger vision began to emerge. Brett dreamed of having multiple teams strategically placed around the world. This vision began to become a reality when RescueNet was introduced in Australia in 2000. In december 2001 the first RescueNet course in Adelaide, Australia was held but around the same time RescueNet US practically ceased to exist due due to Brett’s ailing health, inflicted by asbestos poisoning in the September 11, 2001 disaster but also due to other personal reasons. However, in June 2004 RescueNet was re-introduced to the USA and in 2007 RescueNet Europe started in the Netherlands.

RescueNet’s aim is to show people God’s practical love, compassion and caring by helping victims of a disaster in any way we can. As a rapid emergency response relief team we try to deploy within 24 – 48 hours after the event for as long as 10 days up to 3 or 4 weeks.

One of our goals is to see more and more people join RescueNet as a member so that RescueNet is able to respond to more disasters with more teams and thus help to stabilise the lives of those affected until the longer term ‘effort’ arrives.

Same ?

Established in 1986 by Brett Harwood in the US, RescueNet Australia (a department of Australian Mercy Ltd) is an Emergency Relief, rapid response unit, deploying trained workers who offer medical, light search and rescue, fire suppression, trauma counselling, disaster childcare, logistical and distribution assistance, etc within hours of the event.

Registering with the UN and/or local government authorities, the RescueNet team will stay at the event for between 10 days to 4 weeks, helping to stabilise the lives of those affected, until the longer term ‘effort’ arrives.

We specialise in medivac work, wherein the lead authority of the day will helicopter our team into remote areas. In these remote areas, we establish a small field clinic and stabilise injuries as much as we can on site. As victims needing more specialist assistance arise, we then contact the lead authority via satellite phone and the victim is then transferred by helicopter to larger hospitals.

To date RescueNet has responded to many disasters such as Honduras (hurricane “Mitch”), Yugoslavia, Albania (Kosovo crisis), Turkey (earthquake), Nicaragua (civil war, medical evacuations), Bangladesh (medical clinics), Rwanda (disaster child care, orphaned children), Bulgaria (famine relief), El-Salvador (earthquake, civil war), Mexico (hurricane, medical care), 9/11 (twin towers collapse), Iraq (war), Philippines (typhoons), Banda Aceh (Indian Ocean tsunami), Pakistan (earthquake), Samoa (tsunami), Indonesia (earthquake) Haiti (earthquake), Oklahoma (tornado), Philippines (typhoon), Vanuatu (Cyclone) and Nepal (Earthquake).

How to become a RescueNet team member?

RescueNet is an organisation that annually welcomes new members. In order to become part of this growing RescueNet team we have a strict application policy to ensure that well trained, capable and reliable members enter the disaster scene with us.

Entering requirements

Because RescueNet’s vision is Christian faith based, we require that potential members have succesfully gone through a Discipleship Training School (DTS). Next to that a current First Aid certificate is required to enter our RescueNet training program.

The RescueNet training

Annually RescueNet training courses are offered in Europe, Australia and USA. An intense two weeks training program will expose the participant to many basic needs and skills and teaches the participant what he or she may need to become part of a team deploying into a disaster area. For more information click here. Next to the theory a number of practical scenario’s will be introduced in which the theory practically needs to be applied. The training course builds up towards a final written review and final ‘disaster’ scenario.

The application procedure

After the RescueNet training you do not become a member automatically, you will have to apply for membership. RescueNet has set up a special committee to process new applications. In this process aspects such as personal & team attitude during the training, performance, knowledge and skills will be looked at that are important in deployments to disaster areas.

Once accepted the potential member will enter the probationary period which consists of the following 2 phases:

  1. You will first be required to staff a RescueNet training course at any of the locations where it is offered. This gives leadership and experienced staff time to assess you in a team context. This phase must be completed in order to be able to deploy with us. We now also occasionally offer specific RescueNet outreaches in which you can also fulfill this first probation phase. After completing this phase you will then have to acquire some basic gear and vaccines in order to be deployable.
  2. The second phase of the PP is an actual deployment. Once you have engaged in a deployment with us and have demonstrated competence on the field, you will exit your probationary phase and become a Team Member.

If either phase is not completed successfully you will be invited to repeat that phase and we will help you shore up the areas you may be having difficulty with.

We are not looking for perfection, but because of the events that we respond to, we are looking for people who have the determination and aptitude to respond appropriately in a large-scale crisis. The mental and physical pressure can be high so we want that both you and we are confident that the wonderful work of RescueNet actually fits you.

friends of RescueNet