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International SAR team

Haiti.JPGThe Icelandic Association for Search and Rescue operates an international Urban Search and Rescue Team (ICE-SAR).

The team was founded in 1999 and is on Iceland Crisis Response Unit (ICRU) register. It went on its first mission to Turkey after earthquakes in 1999. In 2003 it responded to the aftermaths of earthqakes in Algeria and in Marokko in 2004. Memers of the team went to Thailand in 2005 after the floods in Indonesia and to Haiti after the earthquakes in 2010.

ICE-SAR is a member og the International Search and Rescue Advisory Group (INSARAG), a network of disaster-prone and disaster-responding countries and organizations dedicated to urban search and rescue (USAR) and operational field coordination. It aims to establish standards and classification for international USAR teams as well as methodology for international response coordination in the aftermath of earthquakes and collapsed structure disasters. The INSARAG Secretariat is located in the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

The ICE-SAR team achieved a classification as a medium USAR team by the UN and active members of the United Nations Disaster Assessment and Coordination (UNDAC) team in 2009. The team was re-classified as a medium team in June 2014.

The members of ICE-SAR's USAR team come from six of the Icelandic rescue teams, the Capital Area Fire Brigade and Landspitalinn, the University Hospital.