This page is aimed at organisations and agencies that would like to find out whether they could benefit from using the services of IRESC and would like to find out more. The information provided here is deliberately non-technical but gives more depth as to how we may be able to help.If you would like to informally discuss any matter with one of our representatives, please email email@example.com..
WHAT IRESC AIMS TO PROVIDE
IRESC uses the Internet to provide speech communication.The circuit can be between just two points, or a conference of many.Participants can be located anywhere in the world that has a connection to the Internet, even if that connection is a slow and basic one (such as via a telephone line).Each participant takes part using a computer fitted with a microphone and a loudspeaker (or headphones).Just about any computer can run the necessary software and, in the case of a laptop for example, can be transported to temporary locations where a communications point is required.Virtually all IRESC members have such facilities.
So far, this would seem to be the same as other public ‘VOIP’ networks such as Skype.However, the IRESC system is a private network.Only licensed individuals have access, providing a secure and interference-free environment.
The licensees are radio amateurs (also known as ‘radio hams’) and this is where the IRESC provision is hugely enhanced for its intended task in the field of emergency communications.At many locations on the globe, IRESC network points connect not just to simple computer-based stations, but also to powerful two-way radio transceivers owned and operated by our members.This allows users, out in remote locations or disaster zones where there is no Internet, to use radios to gain access to the IRESC speech circuits.The radio system could be a VHF or UHF repeater system, where participants use walkie-talkies over a limited geographical area, or shortwave systems which can cover large regions and can cross country boundaries.
WHY IRESC OFFERS THIS SERVICE
IRESC’s desire in providing this service is to set up speech paths between places in need and sources of assistance, even if they are separated by vast distances.Our members want to offer back their radio hobby to provide benefit to the wider community.For example, relief workers within an Asian disaster zone could enlist the assistance of local radio amateurs and their equipment.Simultaneously, IRESC would transport a suitably equipped computer to their relief agency head office in the USA.IRESC would then activate one of its radio-to-Internet gateways located close the disaster zone.The workers in Asia could then use radio communications to speak directly to their head office in the USA.Even though other means of communication may also be available, such IRESC circuits could at least spread the load by offering an alternative path for low priority traffic.
IRESC provides experienced traffic control personnel to maintain order if the circumstances so dictate.Their role is to bring formality and efficiency to the communication such as would be normal on a controlled radio frequency. It is worth mentioning again that such controllers can be located anywhere in the world, handing the baton amongst each other as the time zones suggest to allow for true round-the-clock assistance.
In the background to the communication circuits themselves, IRESC maintains an Incident Database where written records can be kept of the information passing over the links.This is important for a number of reasons, primarily so that messages can be stored should a link to the desired destination not yet be operable, but also for the purpose of emailing to destinations should an Internet connection become available.
Elsewhere on this public website is an online form that allows any person or agency to lodge data with us or seek information back from a disaster zone.
In consultation with the user, IRESC can stream the audio circuits directly to the web for passive consumption by non-participants.IRESC routinely records all traffic for legal reasons.
WHO WE WILL WORK WITH
Our intention is to help whenever we can.Typical users might be relief agencies or charities who have no communications infrastructure of their own, or emergency communicators who want to enhance their existing systems.
IRESC does not favour the making of highly formal arrangements with particular users.In general, we prefer to agree Memoranda of Understanding with other groups in advance, so that when the need to work together arises there is a predetermined plan for interaction. The reason for this is that IRESC does not want its collaboration with one group to prevent it from working with any other, such as might be the case when more than one organisation exists within a country but their relationship is not harmonious.
Our primary language is English, although we have several strong language teams (for example Spanish, Italian, Indian and Indonesian) allowing us to conduct our activities in multiple languages should circumstances require it.
THE SCOPE OF OUR WORK
IRESC exists to try to provide links for speech communication and information passing, in support of humanitarian relief efforts.Our role is to provide a conduit for information to flow – we cannot act upon the information that may pass through our systems.We regret that we are unable to assist in fund-raising activities.Our News and Press Release mechanisms exist to publish items about IRESC and corroborated reports about amateur radio / volunteer involvement in humanitarian relief activities – we cannot publish requests for donations or advertise the services of other organizations.
SOME FUNDAMENTAL CAVEATS
IRESC is a group of volunteers with a simple command structure. Provision of the IRESC service is reliant on volunteer effort and their personal equipment.It therefore cannot be guaranteed, although, as our membership rapidly grows, there is an ever-increasing likelihood that a call for assistance will be responded to.
IRESC has no financial aspect; it requires no payment for its services but by the same token it cannot pay for any facilities it may require. We do not seek sponsorship or donations. IRESC regrets that it cannot handle any monetary transactions, such as aid donations, on behalf of third parties.
Clearly, some elements of this service may rely on compatible radio systems and workable radio paths.We will always activate our networks on legitimate request but the complete speech links may take longer to establish.Users should always bear in mind that it is particularly important to identify a destination for data flowing out of a disaster zone.
IRESC will always pay the greatest attention to maintaining the sensitivity and privacy of any traffic that we pass.However, as with all Internet data, we cannot provide an absolute guarantee that information we handle will be fully secure from public scrutiny.