Rescue refers to responsive operations that usually involve the saving of life
Life is a characteristic that distinguishes objects that have signaling and self-sustaining processes from those that do not, either because such functions have ceased , or else because they lack such functions and are classified as inanimate...

, or prevention of injury
-By cause:*Traumatic injury, a body wound or shock produced by sudden physical injury, as from violence or accident*Other injuries from external physical causes, such as radiation injury, burn injury or frostbite*Injury from infection...

 during an incident or dangerous situation.

Tools used might include search dogs, search and rescue horses, helicopter
A helicopter is a type of rotorcraft in which lift and thrust are supplied by one or more engine-driven rotors. This allows the helicopter to take off and land vertically, to hover, and to fly forwards, backwards, and laterally...

s, the "Jaws of Life", and other hydraulic cutting and spreading tool
A tool is a device that can be used to produce an item or achieve a task, but that is not consumed in the process. Informally the word is also used to describe a procedure or process with a specific purpose. Tools that are used in particular fields or activities may have different designations such...

s used to extricate
Vehicle extrication
Vehicle extrication is the process of removing the vehicle from around a person that has been involved in a motor vehicle accident, when conventional means of exit are impossible or unadvisable. A delicate approach is needed to minimize injury to the victim during the extrication...

 individuals from wrecked vehicle
A vehicle is a device that is designed or used to transport people or cargo. Most often vehicles are manufactured, such as bicycles, cars, motorcycles, trains, ships, boats, and aircraft....

s. Rescue operations are sometimes supported by special vehicles such as fire department
Fire department
A fire department or fire brigade is a public or private organization that provides fire protection for a certain jurisdiction, which typically is a municipality, county, or fire protection district...

's or EMS Heavy rescue vehicle.


A rope is a length of fibres, twisted or braided together to improve strength for pulling and connecting. It has tensile strength but is too flexible to provide compressive strength...

s and special devices can reach and remove individuals and animals from difficult locations including:
  • Cave rescue
    Cave rescue
    Cave rescue is a highly specialized field of wilderness rescue in which injured, trapped or lost cave explorers are medically treated and extracted from various cave environments....

  • Combat search and rescue
    Combat search and rescue
    Combat search and rescue are search and rescue operations that are carried out during war that are within or near combat zones.A CSAR mission may be carried out by a task force of helicopters, ground-attack aircraft, tankers and an airborne command post...

  • Confined space rescue
    Confined space rescue
    Confined space rescue is a subset of technical rescue operations that involves the rescue and recovery of victims trapped in a confined space or in a place only accessible through confined spaces, such as underground vaults, storage silos, storage tanks, or sewers.Confined space rescues can be...

  • Fast water rescue
  • Ice rescue
  • Mines rescue
  • Rope rescue
    Rope rescue
    Rope rescue is a subset of technical rescue that involves the use of static nylon kernmantle ropes, anchoring and belaying devices, friction rappel devices, various devices to utilize mechanical advantage for hauling systems, and other specialized equipment to reach victims and safely recover...

  • Sea rescue
  • Search and rescue
    Search and rescue
    Search and rescue is the search for and provision of aid to people who are in distress or imminent danger.The general field of search and rescue includes many specialty sub-fields, mostly based upon terrain considerations...

  • Ski patrol
    Ski patrol
    A Ski Patrol is an organization that provides Emergency Medical and rescue services to skiers and participants of other snow sports, either at a ski area or in a back country setting. Patrollers are trained in Basic or Advanced Life Support to stabilize and transport patients to definitive care,...

  • Urban search and rescue
    Urban search and rescue
    Urban search and rescue involves the location, extrication, and initial medical stabilization of victims trapped in confined spaces due to natural disasters, structural collapse, transportation accidents, mines and collapsed trenches.USAR teams in different countries may be organised in a...

  • Vehicle Rescue
  • Wilderness
    Wilderness or wildland is a natural environment on Earth that has not been significantly modified by human activity. It may also be defined as: "The most intact, undisturbed wild natural areas left on our planet—those last truly wild places that humans do not control and have not developed with...


Rescue operations require a high degree of training
The term training refers to the acquisition of knowledge, skills, and competencies as a result of the teaching of vocational or practical skills and knowledge that relate to specific useful competencies. It forms the core of apprenticeships and provides the backbone of content at institutes of...

 and are performed by Rescue Squad
Rescue squad
A rescue company is a public service organization that uses specialized equipment and knowledge to rescue people. There are two typical applications: squads that rescue trapped people, and squads that rescue people who are having medical emergencies....

s, either independent or part of larger organizations like a fire
Fire department
A fire department or fire brigade is a public or private organization that provides fire protection for a certain jurisdiction, which typically is a municipality, county, or fire protection district...

, police
The police is a personification of the state designated to put in practice the enforced law, protect property and reduce civil disorder in civilian matters. Their powers include the legitimized use of force...

, military
A military is an organization authorized by its greater society to use lethal force, usually including use of weapons, in defending its country by combating actual or perceived threats. The military may have additional functions of use to its greater society, such as advancing a political agenda e.g...

, first aid
First aid
First aid is the provision of initial care for an illness or injury. It is usually performed by non-expert, but trained personnel to a sick or injured person until definitive medical treatment can be accessed. Certain self-limiting illnesses or minor injuries may not require further medical care...

 squad, or ambulance
An ambulance is a vehicle for transportation of sick or injured people to, from or between places of treatment for an illness or injury, and in some instances will also provide out of hospital medical care to the patient...

 services. In The U.S., they are usually staffed by medically trained personnel as NFPA
NFPA may refer to:* National Fire Protection Association** NFPA 704, National Fire Protection Association Fire Diamond* National Food Processors Association* National Fluid Power Association* Non-Fossil Purchasing Agency...

 regulations require it.

Old meanings

In former centuries the word "rescue" had other meanings: for example, there is an old record of a countryman living where Wythenshawe
Wythenshawe is a district in the south of the city of Manchester, England.Formerly part of the administrative county of Cheshire, in 1931 Wythenshawe was transferred to the City of Manchester, which had begun building a massive housing estate there in the 1920s to resolve the problem of its inner...

 is now, being prosecuted in a local law court for "making rescue" of a pig which had been seized as a distress
Distraint or distress is "the seizure of someone’s property in order to obtain payment of rent or other money owed", especially in common law countries...

 for non-payment of money owed.

See also

  • Animal Rescue
    Animal Rescue
    Animal Rescue is a TV show hosted and produced by Alex Paen. The show is about people trying to save animals from danger. Animal control officers try to assist animals in unsafe environments and respond other animal related emergencies. It is an eight-time Daytime Emmy nominated show.-External...

  • Diver rescue
    Diver rescue
    thumb|right|Beaching a casualty while providing artificial respirationDiver rescue, following an accident, is the process of avoiding or limiting further exposure to diving hazards and bringing a SCUBA diver to safety...

  • Extraction (military)
    Extraction (military)
    Extraction , in tactical combat and special operations use, is the process of removing constituents from a targeted site when it is considered imperative that they be immediately relocated out of a hostile environment and taken to a secured area under friendly control...

  • Extrication
  • Lifeboat
    Lifeboat (rescue)
    A rescue lifeboat is a boat rescue craft which is used to attend a vessel in distress, or its survivors, to rescue crewmen and passengers. It can be hand pulled, sail powered or powered by an engine...

  • Rescue robot
    Rescue robot
    A rescue robot is a robot that has been designed for the purpose of aiding rescue workers. Common situations that employ rescue robots are mining accidents, urban disasters, hostage situations, and explosions. Rescue robots were used in the search for victims and survivors after the September 11...

  • Technical rescue
    Technical rescue
    Technical rescue refers to those aspects of saving life or property that employ the use of tools and skills that exceed those normally reserved for fire fighting, medical emergency, and rescue. These disciplines include rope rescue, swiftwater rescue, confined space rescue, ski rescue, cave rescue,...

  • Emergency management
    Emergency management
    Emergency management is the generic name of an interdisciplinary field dealing with the strategic organizational management processes used to protect critical assets of an organization from hazard risks that can cause events like disasters or catastrophes and to ensure the continuance of the...

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