The International Commission for Alpine Rescue ICAR (Internationale Kommission für Alpine Rettung IKAR / Commission Internationale pour le Sauvetage Alpin CISA) was founded in 1948. ICAR is incorporated as an association under Swiss law, with its seat in Kloten, Switzerland. ICAR has been granted the status of a beneficiary organization by the tax authorities of the Canton of Zurich, Switzerland, on April 10, 2007. Its annual turnover is less than CHF 150'000. Therefore, ICAR does not have a tax number and ICAR annual fees are not subject to Swiss VAT as per the "Branchenbroschüre Nr. 21" of the Swiss Federal Tax Administration. ICAR does not pursue any commercial purposes and is not profit oriented. We are financed by membership fees and valuable partnerships. Our main common language is English, with German and French being official ICAR languages too.
The top organizational body is the ICAR Assembly of Delegates, where our member organizations are represented by delegates (number of delegates depending on the type of membership). The ICAR Assembly of Delegates usually takes place in October upon our main event, the annual ICAR Convention (see "CONGRESS" in the "NEWS" section of this website), which is alternately organized by one of our member organizations. The annual ICAR Convention starts with a pre-convention day (practical workshops out in the field), continues with 3 days of seminars inside (including an informal local evening event) and concludes with the annual ICAR Assembly of Delegates followed by a gala dinner. During the annual ICAR Convention there is an exhibition area, where ICAR Partners and trade exhibitors can present their services/new products. Minutes of the ICAR Assembly of Delegates can be found in the "ORGANIZATION" section under the sub-section "ASSEMBLY OF DELEGATES".
The ICAR Assembly of Delegates appoints members for the ICAR Executive Board BOA (President, Vice-President, Treasury, Technical Commission Presidents and Assessors, all of them volunteers), which takes care of the daily business through the year. For administrative tasks (correspondence, web-mastering) there is an ICAR Office, staffed 12 hours weekly, located at Zurich-Airport in Switzerland, financed in equal parts by ICAR and our member ARS Alpine Rettung Schweiz, hosting it.
ICAR has 4 Technical Commissions, covering all aspects of mountain rescue (and prevention for rescuers):
- Air Rescue Commission AIR
- Avalanche Rescue Commission AVA
- Alpine Emergency Medicine Commission MED
- Terrestrial Rescue Commission TER
and there is 1 Technical Sub-Commission:
- Dog-Handlers Sub-Commission DOG
You will find all organizational bodies (and information about their tasks) in the "ORGANIZATION" section of this website. Minutes and Presentations of the ICAR Technical Commissions AIR, AVA, MED, TER and the ICAR Technical Sub-Commission DOG can be found in the "INFORMATION" section under "MINUTES" (all together) or, filtered to each organizational body, in the "ORGANIZATION" section under the sub-section of the respective organizational unit.
ICAR provides a platform for mountain rescue and related organizations to disseminate knowledge with the prime goal of improving mountain rescue services and their safety. ICAR's goals and targets are described in detail in the separate article "ICAR Mission" (see links below). ICAR is an independent, worldwide organization that respects its members and promotes international cooperation. The ICAR association itself does not offer trainings and does not certify rescuers or courses. Some of our member organizations (specialized in training) may do that.
ICAR Recommendations are developped and published as well by the ICAR Executive Board BOA and the ICAR Technical Commissions AIR, AVA, MED, TER and the ICAR Technical Sub-Commission DOG. You will find them published on this website in the "INFORMATION" section under "RECOMMENDATIONS" (all together) or, filtered to each organizational body, in the "ORGANIZATION" section under the sub-section of the respective organizational unit.
There are also general ICAR Publications (Diploma in Mountain Medicine, etc.), which can be found on this website in the "INFORMATION" section under "PUBLICATIONS" (all together) or, filtered to each organizational body, in the "ORGANIZATION" section under the sub-section of the respective organizational unit.
ICAR is an UIAA Observer Member.
ICAR currently has 123 member organizations in 41 countries worldwide. For links to each member organization please navigate to the "MEMBERS" section on this website.
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ICAR Members can access the Internal Area of this website via "Login" on the top right side of your screen. New users (ICAR Members only) may request login data via firstname.lastname@example.org, mentioning to which ICAR Member Organization they're affiliated.