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More Than Medevac: The Range of Global Rescue Services


April 14, 2022
Categories: Safety, Health, Security and Intelligence, COVID-19

Global Rescue may be best known for medical evacuation, but it’s far from the only service we offer our traveling members. Here’s what else you need to know.


“I had no clue how expansive the operation and services of Global Rescue were,” said Joe Betar, executive director of the Houston Safari Club Foundation, during a February 2022 “Hunting Matters” podcast where he interviewed Harding Bush, operations manager at Global Rescue.

Betar was under the impression that Global Rescue only specializes in emergency medical evacuation from remote corners of the world. And that’s not his fault. Because of the unique (and sometimes extreme) medical evacuations heavily covered in the media for adventure-travel types — think mountaineers seeking to bag their next big summit to paragliders, cave divers, heli-skiers, hunters and anglers — it’s natural to assume that’s what we do exclusively.

But there’s a lot more to Global Rescue than dramatic helicopter rescues. From enterprise travel risk management, information and destination intelligence and emergency evacuation to general advisory services, Global Rescue’s services are broad, comprehensive and essential.

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What does Global Rescue do and how might it apply to your unique travel situation? How are our operations centers structured, and who’s answering the phone when a member calls? Here’s an overview.

Not Just Reactive, But Proactive Services

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Global Rescue may be better known for our reactive services, meaning, when a member experiences a serious emergency during travel, they contact us to get the life-saving help they need. Depending on the level of severity, the situation may require an evacuation or extraction of the individual.

There are two types of emergency reactive situations:

  • Medical Emergency: When a member becomes severely injured or sick (including COVID-19), they contact our medical operations team to get the care and transport they need. “It could be from the side of a mountain to the nearest clinic or medical facility, where they will be evaluated, stabilized and we determine what follow-on care is required,” Bush said. “Then, if additional hospitalization is required, we get them all the way home.” If necessary, Global Rescue will also deploy a paramedic, nurse or physician bedside to help oversee the care provided and coordinate an evacuation.

  • Security Emergency: If a member encounters an unforeseen natural disaster, civil unrest or armed conflict and cannot evacuate on their own, our security operations team helps you get home — or to a safe location and then home. Our security services are available as an upgraded membership.

“That’s the reactive part of what we do — meaning an incident happens, you call us and we help you get out of trouble,” said Bush, who served 20 years in the U.S. Special Operations forces and 12 years in international and corporate travel security. “But we don’t want you to get into trouble in the first place, so that’s why we also have all the non-emergency advisory and support services for both before and during your travel. This is the proactive part of what we do.”

There are two types of non-emergency proactive services:

  • Prior to Travel: We help with research for any member’s trip. For example, say you’re planning a trip to India. What kind of risks — prevalence of certain diseases, potential security threats or other destination details — should you be aware of before going?

    Global Rescue’s intelligence team maintains detailed destination reports for 215 countries and principalities, which members can access through the My Global Rescue app. “Or give us a call, and we can have a direct discussion,” Bush said. “You might be surprised to learn satellite phones are illegal in India. If you bring one, you could be arrested or fined.”

  • During Travel: What if you’re traveling and you simply have a medical question? “You might develop a rash, but it’s not something you necessarily want to go to an emergency room for in a place like Botswana,” Bush said. Contact us anytime — 24/7/365 — and get medical advice and support you know you can trust. Global Rescue can also help locate coronavirus-capable hospitals and testing facilities.

We also offer advisory services related to general travel questions: visa and passport issues, translation, legal locators and real-time security events that may unfold during your trip.

Who’s on the Line When You Call

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No matter your situation — emergency or not, medical or security, prior to or during travel — you call just one number and one number only: +1 617-459-4200. This is the number you should program into your cell or satellite phone (you can also contact us via the My Global Rescue app). It’s also a good idea to have this number written down (it’s located on your Global Rescue membership card) in case your phone dies or breaks.

Your call will always be answered by an on-staff employee, specifically one of our Member Services associates, which include former 911 operators, customer support analysts, dispatchers and more. Member services personnel will ask a few questions to transfer you to the appropriate contact in one of the following operations departments:

  • Medical Operations: In the case of a medical emergency or question, you speak directly with a registered critical care paramedic, all of whom are overseen by our team of medical directors. We also work with board-certified physicians, clinicians and specialists from Elite Medical Group and the Johns Hopkins Emergency Medicine Division of Special Operations.

    “Our doctors specialize in all sorts of things: emergency medicine, high-altitude medicine, infectious disease and more,” Bush added. Whatever your issue, we have a doctor with the appropriate medical specialty.

  • Security Operations: In the case of a security emergency or question, you’ll speak directly to a team that is made up of veterans of the military special forces community, including former Navy SEALS, Green Berets, Pararescuemen, Army Rangers and Intel Officers.

    Not only does the team’s background include military experience in every major conflict from Desert Storm to the Syrian civil war, but they have enterprise-level security experience. “This is very, very important to understand the needs of our corporate clients and consumer members,” Bush said.

Our member services team and integrated medical and security operations are all based in-house in Global Rescue’s international operations centers. That means there is no call center — you speak with a real medical or security expert immediately to get the care or answers you need.

Have More Questions About Our Membership?

Fire away: That’s what our member services team is trained for. We’re available 24/7/365 to take specific pointed questions related to anything — our COVID-19 services, how we differ from our competitors, what is field rescue, how our membership differs from travel insurance.


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