We are very different than you expect. There is nothing usual or routine for
us. Our motto is "expect the unexpected." We do.
My name is Doug Copp, I am the rescue chief of the American Rescue Team International.
At a collapsed gold mine in the Peruvian Andes, Copp watches with the Vice
President of Peru, President Fujimori, members of his cabinet and Peruvian
Army personnel as ARTI member Otto Lukac demonstrates ARTI technology used
in rescue operations.
We are busy. Time is our most valuable commodity. At a disaster, every minute
means a life and every mistake a death. We go days without sleep, and sometimes
actually nap or sleep on the rubble to avoid wasting commute time.
I founded ARTI after I returned from the Mexico City earthquake in 1985. We
were originally called Earthquake Preparedness and Rescue of California. For
many years we were the only Americans rescuing at foreign disasters; hence other
rescue teams referred to us as "The American Rescue Team."
Now we are known, around the globe, as the American Rescue Team International.
Our dedication to saving lives and our humanitarian work has given us recognition
as the world's most experienced rescue team.
The American Rescue Team International has 33,000 associated members in 34
We are the team you often see on TV (at foreign disasters crawling inside of
collapsed buildings, saving lives).
As the rescue chief and founder of ARTI, I have worked at, almost, every major
disaster, throughout the world, for the last 15 years.
ARTI saved the lives of two women after an earthquake in Kalammatta, Greece
in 1986.This hole was dug out of a collapsed apartment building to rescue
Our team is unique in many ways: we have worked at more major disasters than
any rescue team, in the world; we are the only team to be truly international,
with team members from different countries; we are the only team to make cooperative
agreements with governmental and non-governmental teams; we are the only team
to have politicians from different countries as team members; we are all volunteer;
and we have the only equipment that is capable of locating dead victims.
We do no formal fund raising. When a disaster happens, we rally all the good
people we can to get the job done. The phone lines catch on fire. It is truly
Either, we get the airline tickets donated or we pay for them ourselves. As
of May, 2000, American Airlines has agreed to fly our team to disasters for
free. We are still struggling to find the money to do our training and deliver
We all have other sources of income. I make most of my money from being paid
to do television appearances or selling film footage of our team saving lives
to the networks for news and documentaries.
Copp at the Oklahoma City bombing disaster. ARTI mobilized within 20 minutes
of the call for help and was in flight to the scene within one hour of the
explosion, according to Copp.
Disaster mitigation and saving lives are our prime directive. I consider every
disaster to be like a person's signature -- different, unique and requiring
a thoughtful and immediate response. A major disaster involves everyone from
a shoeshine boy to the president. Everything is destroyed. Everyone is affected.
Everyone has a role to play. Would you be interested in joining us?
Visit our website: http://www.amerrescue.org. Speak with me on the phone (510-523-5493).
Speak with our mental health officer to determine if you have the emotional
strength to be an operational team member. Start to work on a project. Eventually,
find your place on the team.
During more than 100 major international emergencies and disasters, both natural
and man made, we have been there. Team members have firsthand experience and
knowledge of diverse phenomena; such as, earthquakes, landslides, mudslides,
rock slides, explosions, tornadoes, hurricanes, firestorms, avalanches, mountain
rescue, swift water rescue, wilderness rescue, plane crashes, ship sinkings,
mine collapses, floods, toxic clouds, war (Kosovo), mass grave site location,
and humanitarian/refugee relief.
We deliver emergency supplies, such as delivering crutches to children in Nicaragua
who had their legs blown off by mines, helping with delivering "iron lungs"
to native divers in Central America, collecting and donating rescue/fire equipment
to third world countries, and supplying the Red Cross in many cities of Mexico
with medical supplies.
ARTI members train teachers in the "triangle of life" concept,
whereby people in earthquakes are taught to get next to solid objects for
ARTI has worked with the Red Cross and Red Crescent in many countries. I was
surprised when I found out about the American Red Cross. The Red Cross in Mexico
actually rescues people. The American Red Cross only gives blankets, food and
organizes shelter. They are legally prohibited by our bureaucratic system from
actually rescuing people.
We have trained hundreds of organizations, throughout the world, in a vast
array of disaster mitigation, disaster management and rescue recovery functions.
ARTI's rescue training is usually given by myself and is scheduled by ARTI
team member Carol Camelot of Palm Desert, California (760) 469-3486 and add in cellphone number (760) 534-6278. Ms. Camelot also provides presentations giving instruction in the Triangle of Life principle. . Reference
the ARTI website http://www. amerrescue.org. Contact Carol Camelot, at firstname.lastname@example.org,
to arrange for developed nations training. Contact Doug Copp at email@example.com
to arrange for international assistance.
ARTI was sponsored by Southern Peru, a US multinational company, to train
SP employees in rescue operations applicable to a number of disasters at
their chemical plant.
ARTI Lifestyle -- Personally, I am a member of the Mexican Red Cross,
the Rescue Chief of the National Rescue Team of Turkey, a member of the Rescue
Association of the Republic of China, a member of the Fire Department of Peru,
a member of the Ministry of Civil Defense of Venezuela, a member of the Russian
Rescue Federation, etc.
It's quite common for ARTI members to belong to other organizations. It is
very helpful to open up doors, enable cooperation and to find out what is really
Many people help us. US Attorney General Janet Reno arranged for visa clearance
for one of our Colombian doctors, to help in the Venezuelan floods. She enabled
a one-year process to take place in a single night. President Duarte of El Salvador
contacted the President of TACA Airlines to reimburse our airline tickets. Peruvian
President Fugimori arranged for us to fly to Lima in his personal aircraft.
Paulina and Doug Copp delivering crutches to the Mexican Red Cross.
Most of our members are good people, who try to do their best and help their
fellow human beings. Everyone is welcome: If you care and want to make a difference.
ARTI has worked with and trained militaries throughout the world, at almost
every disaster. We enjoy working with the military. ARTI will train any military
organization, of any kind. There is only one condition. We will train them to
save lives. We will have nothing to do with killing. ARTI has been to war. We
have been shot at. Our work was humanitarian and will continue to be humanitarian.
We have some team members who are also connected with FEMA. They work with
us anonymously to save lives.
Should you wish to join us, ask for our help or help us, contact Doug Copp,
Rescue Chief, ARTI,
563 Charlotte St, Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada, B1P-1E6, Canada. 1-902-567-1227.
; email: firstname.lastname@example.org.