TREVOSE, Pa., Jan. 19 /PRNewswire/ -- International SOS, a leading global provider of medical assistance, healthcare and security services, is providing ongoing emergency assistance to its clients who have employees, students, faculty, relief workers or other personnel based in Haiti, or who may be travelling there.
In the immediate wake of the earthquake, International SOS activated a crisis management team in its Philadelphia alarm center and began coordination operations. The global team, whose initial members left for Haiti within two hours after the earthquake, is made up of medical, security, aviation and logistics experts. Working with secured assets and specialized providers, the team has coordinated 62 evacuations in a total of 14 missions to date. The teams are operating in Port-Au-Prince and Santo Domingo. Additional missions are being planned and executed at the time of this release.
Simultaneously, the International SOS team in Haiti is providing the company's network of 25 alarm centers around the world with up-to-the-minute reports to help their locally based members who may be seeking information on colleagues in Haiti and conditions on the ground.
"As we enter the next phase of response, we anticipate a tapering off of classic assistance activities related to supporting our usual mix of clients, such as evacuations," said Suzanne Garber, U.S. Chief Operating Officer of International SOS. "What remains to be seen is how the relief efforts will unfold. At this point we're expecting that well-equipped and experienced government and NGO representatives, such as World Vision, will lead the way in navigating the challenging relief environment in Haiti."
International SOS estimates its alarm center in Philadelphia has received more than 3,000 calls for assistance. The team is currently working for more than 100 unique clients whose various employees, students, faculty, volunteers and relief workers have been affected by the Haiti earthquake. These clients include approximately 60 private corporations, 25 non-profit organizations, 10 governmental bodies and 10 private travelers. Of the 62 evacuations conducted by International SOS so far, members' home countries include the United States, Spain, Uganda, Kenya, Italy, Belgium, France, Senegal, Canada, Luxembourg and others. To complete evacuation missions, International SOS is utilizing jets, propeller aircraft, secure vehicle convoys, a secured compound and air ambulances.
"We have been able to tap into our pre-established network in Haiti to provide transportation and protection for our clients," said Garber. "Many of the organizations we support also had their own emergency plans before the earthquake. This is something we always advise – by not waiting for a crisis and having the proper preparations in place, these companies provided excellent duty of care and helped to ensure the safety of their employees. "
Travel security and medical email alerts have been sent to clients around the world advising of the earthquake and tsunami warnings along with analysis and advice. In addition, subsequent alerts have been sent highlighting the impact of the events and emerging health and safety issues.
International SOS and Control Risks have utilized their proprietary travel tracker system to identify members in the affected areas, as well as responding to calls to International SOS alarm centers in Philadelphia, London and elsewhere.
About International SOS
Operating in over 70 countries, International SOS (http://www.internationalsos.com) helps organizations manage the health and security risks facing their travellers and international expatriates. Using its worldwide network of alarm centers, clinics, and over 55,000 health and logistics providers, the company offers local expertise, preventative advice, and emergency assistance during critical illness, accident, or civil unrest. International SOS provides medical and security information services, medical consulting, staffing support, occupational healthcare, and healthcare management services globally. In 2008 the company handled over 1,000,000 cases, including nearly 18,000 evacuations. International SOS works in partnership with businesses, governments and non-governmental organizations and currently provides key services to 83 percent of the Fortune Global 100 companies. Working in some of the most inhospitable places on earth, International SOS offers international standards of medical care where it is not available or where cultural and language barriers exist.
About Control Risks
Control Risks (www.controlrisks.com) is one of the world's leading global business risk consultancies. As a trusted adviser to almost three quarters of the Fortune Global 500, we enable our clients to succeed in complex and hostile environments. We provide the information, advice and practical support they need to manage the political, security and integrity risks that come with doing business internationally.
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