Our Mission

The mission of the GEOS IERCC is simple, to aid in the rescue of all savable lives whether it is land, air or sea. Our motto is “So others may live to tell about it” and it is something we take to heart. In IAMSAR parlance, the IERCC is an alerting post, meaning that we receive the alert and notify the appropriate authorities to prosecute the Search and Rescue (SAR) mission. However, in many instances our duty doesn’t end there. The SAR Mission Coordinators (SMC’s) at the IERCC also maintain a liaison with the faIERCC-AtWork_Smallmily, first responders and in some instances a users embassy, keeping all parties up to date with new position information, updated medical information and any other pertinent data until the mission or call is resolved.

To assist the IERCC personnel with carrying out their mission a number of tools are used including flight and vessel tracking, weather and natural disaster tracking and alerting, and real-time news feeds for events taking place around the world. This information is used by IERCC personnel when alerting an RCC or First Response Agency of an alert. This combined with our ability to provide accurate incident location coordinates in any desired format and use of standard mapping tools enables us to quickly assess what is going on regarding an incoming SOS/911 from any supported device.

Operations

The IERCC is staffed by a team of Watch Standers, Search and Rescue (SAR) Mission Coordinators (SMC’s) and a Duty Officer 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.IERCC FacOut

The IERCC handles nearly 100 calls per week and initiates between 25 to 50 SAR missions during the same period.

The IERCC has an extensive database of Search and Rescue contacts around the world, and maintains close working relationships with Rescue Coordination Centers (RCC’s) around the world.

The IERCC works with RCC’s, police, fire and EMS departments internationally to prosecute search and rescue missions, or urban response where ever the need arises.

The IERCC adheres to all international standards with regard to Search and Rescue alerting and coordination, including the International Aviation and Maritime Search and Rescue (IAMSAR) manual developed by the International Maritime Organization (IMO). In IAMSAR parlance the IERCC is an alerting post, meaning we receive emergency alerts and contact the appropriate first response agency to prosecute the SAR mission.

If an emergency arises in a country that doesn’t have an official response agency, or one that is unwilling to assist, the IERCC will work with the embassy or consulate representing the device owner requesting assistance, or in extreme cases the IERCC will coordinate private resources for the emergency response. The IERCC does not give up, no matter what the obstacles, our job is to save lives and we take pride in that mission.

Our Staff

The IERCC differs from a typical “call center” in that all of our personnel are trained and certified first responders, emergency dispatchers, incident managers and/or former military. This is not one of those jobs where being able to “work a phone” gets you the job. Even the qualified candidate must undergo extensive training at the IERCC as a trainee before ever “manning” a shift. The next step after trainee is that of Watch Stander, meaning the candidate has passed all written certification courses, worked enough training shifts to understand our protocols and procedures, passed the IERCC written and oral examination. Only then can they achieve Watch Stander status and begin working on becoming a certified SAR Mission Coordinator. IERCC-RandyCoordinatingRescue

SAR Mission Coordinators are essentially the shift supervisor, in that they oversee all activity for all incidents being worked. Each day there is also a Duty Officer of the Day assigned who is there for any escalation of incidents that may occur, or where the SMC needs assistance. The Duty Officer of the Day reports directly to the Deputy Commander, who in turn reports to the IERCC Commander.

In summary, our staff are trained in what to do when that emergency call comes in, whether by Satellite phone, Satellite Emergency Notification Device (SEND) or a supported Cellular application. They are trained on all of the devices that GEOS and the IERCC support, and trained in how to respond and who to call.

The IERCC Facility

The facility that houses the IERCC and the technical infrastructure has been called the most secure commercial datacenter in the United States. The campus consists of a bullet and blast-proof office facility with two-level perimeter security and 24-hour access controls and video surveillance. If an unauthorized access is attempted, building personnel are immediately notified, and if the affected area is part of the IERCC operations, the senior team (DO, DCO and DST) are notified. IERCC-HQ_Small

The Bunker is a 40,000 Sq. Ft. underground facility that was initially designed to protect against a nuclear, biological or chemical attack, but was re-purposed to be a datacenter several years ago. It has 24×7 physical and cyber security to thwart off any unauthorized access attempts and fully redundant systems.

The facility is primarily powered by two independent power grids, served from two different providers and also has six different fiber optics providers with the fiber terminating within the bunker. There are a number of generators and UPS’s to offer 24×7 uninterrupted operations.

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Click on the video below for a 3D video tour of the campus where the IERCC is located.