About Hellenic Rescue Team

Hellenic Rescue Team (HRT) is a voluntary Search and Rescue Organization, whose members have participated in missions since 1978, while since 1994 it has been run as an association.

HRT’s headquarters is based in Thessaloniki, but the organization’s network consists of 34 branches all over Greece. The Hellenic Rescue Team is certified by the General Secretariat of Civil Protection and cooperates with the United Nations’ INSARAG (International Search and Rescue Advisory Group) since 2005, making it the only international rescue organization in Greece. It also collaborates with OCHA (Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs), with EU’s ECHO (European Community Humanitarian Office) and is a member of the International Commission for Alpine Rescue (ICAR), the International Maritime Rescue Federation (IMRF), and the International Searchand Rescue Dog Organisation (IRO).

For its operational activities at sea during the major refugee crisis in Greece, the Hellenic Rescue Team was honored in November 2016 by the UNHCR with the Nansen Refugee Award, which is the highest honor awarded by the UNHCR. This award is a tremendous honor for volunteerism and at the same time a great legacy for all the organization’s volunteers operating in the branches of HRT in Lesvos, Samos, Kos and Chios, but also to all our volunteers who, in their own way, helped during the refugee crisis. Furthermore, HRT received in December 2017 the Mother Teresa Memorial International Award for Social Justice from the India Harmony Foundation, which each year honors organizations and individuals from all over the world, who are active in humanitarian work and contribute to social justice.

With over 2.000 volunteers from all over Greece, the Hellenic Rescue Team participates in search and rescue operations in response to emergencies and mass disasters, wherever they take place, whether in Greece or abroad. HRT is staffed by volunteers with a professional attitude and excellent training.

On operational level there are two Divisions – Operations and Training – which are based in HRT headquarters. Specialized departments operate in each Hellenic Rescue Team branch.

These departments are as per below:
1. Mountain Rescue
2. Water Rescue
3. Urban Search and Rescue
4. First Aid
5. Search Dogs
6. Research and Technology
7. Humanitarian & Social Care Department

Our mission

Our mission is to offer aid to our fellow human beings, whose lives are in danger, under any conditions and in all natural and non-natural environments, within Greece and abroad.


Our goal

Our goal is to be everywhere, at any time. We are always present at the site of the incident. We are the first to get there and the last to leave.


Our values

Sense of Responsibility
We recognize that what we have to offer is important and valuable and that our actions have a significant impact on those around us. As such, whatever we do, we do it responsibly, with honor and complete respect for the values we serve.

We put our words into action and continuously undergo training, maintaining a high level of knowledge. Armed with our training, we work hard to give the greatest possible help whenever we are called upon.

Love for Human Life
Our actions and activities are surrounded by love for the greatest good, that of human life. We are committed to serving and protecting this good to the best of our abilities.