Sofware and services for emergency management and rescue organisations

You are here

Features provided by the internet service

There is also a mobile app available and for a list of features provided by the app click here.

The philosophy behind the design of the VolunteerRescue is to give autonomy of data and information to each individual group.  Whilst the majority of the operating procedures within each rescue industry will be the same no two groups will be identical and their working practices will differ, VolunteerRescue has been designed to be extensible to suit the individual needs of every organisation.


  • Unlimited number of personnel records supported
  • All the expected contact, emergency contact, user name, id number etc... fields
  • Unlimited number of roles for arranging personnel in groups
  • Define custom fields and lists and select the section of the page to display the field or list
  • Access control to allow/restrict access at individual personnel record level
  • Support for an unlimited number of certifications with date certified, expiry date, upload image of certificate and a verification process when personnel add certifications themselves
  • Notification sent when certifications are going to and have expired
  • Maintainable by both the personnel themselves and administrators
  • Search fields to easily find personnel records
  • Supports personnel unavailability by a date range for an extended period, by hour by day or by work schedule
  • Dashboard page summarising key information such as expired certifications, availability, main contact information, attendance chart
  • Personnel unavailability can be shown on a calendar
  • Personnel details can be exported in csv format including certifications and custom fields and lists
  • Attach uploaded files


Contacts are very similar to personnel with one key difference, they cannot logon to the service and typically applies to equipment and service suppliers, surrounding group contacts and personnel, governing body contacts etc...

  • Unlimited number of contact records supported
  • Can be included in the same roles as personnel or create new roles if required
  • Support for a contacts' emergency contact details and certifications held for when the contact may also be used on task or incident such as mutual aid
  • Three levels of grouping to build a managable tree of contacts
  • Search fields to easily find contact records
  • Define custom fields and lists and select the section of the page to display the field or list
  • Access control to allow/restrict access at individual contact record level
  • Contact details can be exported in csv format including custom fields and lists
  • Attach uploaded files


  • Unlimited number of asset records supported
  • Three levels of grouping to build a managable tree of assets
  • Search fields to easily find asset records
  • Define you own status levels for assets and for each asset identify quantities at each status level
  • Define custom fields and lists and select the section of the page to display the field or list
  • Add times when unavailable for use due to for example maintenance
  • Define unlimited number of storage compartments per asset such as pockets in a backpack, compartments in truck.  Assign other assets to these storage locations to build a full hierarchy of  where assets and equipment are stored
  • Define which expenses apply to and can be claimed when the asset is used
  • Define notifications to be sent automatically by date, by number of uses, by number of hours used, by quantity levels, by mileage and by retirement/expiry date
  • Dashboard page summarising key information such as availability, main details, usage chart, exact location stored at
  • Full historical maintenance log
  • Access control to allow/restrict access at individual asset record level
  • Asset unavailability can be shown on a calendar
  • Define content lists when an asset contains many items (e.g. a first aid kit)
  • Define asset kits where mutiple assets are combined to build a kit, assets in the kit can be grouped where the quantity needed can be satisfied from a selection of assets
  • Attach uploaded files

Event management

In line with the initial statement at the top of the page VolunteerRescue does not restrict the activities your group may participate in to a preconfigured set, your group has complete control over the event categories you need for example training, incidents and tasks, community events, general meetings, community event etc...

  • Unlimited number of event categories supported
  • For each event category configure the features available such as map type (terrain or road), default location, colour on calendar, which calendar it appears on (if any), whether the event category needs support for adding personnel/equipment/expense claims/subject details/operational periods, whether the event category supports repeat events
  • Repeat or recurring events such as general training
  • Enter expenses incurred during the event
  • Support for personnel and contact registration on future events with support to limit places, require registration approval by an administrator, send an e-mail reminder notification both to registered personnel and unregistered personnel
  • Define custom fields and lists and select the section of the page to display the field or list.  Custom fields and lists can be defined for the event, for each participant in the event, for each asset used on the event, for subject details added to the event, for each expense item claimed during the event
  • Record hours on event for participants and equipment and record multiple check in/out periods for multi day events
  • Access control to allow/restrict access at individual event record level
  • Export future events in an ics format file for inclusion in external calendars
  • Attach uploaded files

File store

VolunteerRescue provides each group with their own centralised file store

  • 250Mb by default expandable on request
  • Upload any file type, definable list of file extensions supported by your group
  • Three levels of grouping to build a managable tree of files
  • Search fields to easily find files
  • Access control to allow/restrict access at individual file level
  • Attached uploaded files for personnel, contacts, assets etc... come from the central file store enabling the same file to be attached multiple times without impacting on your storage space

Phone system (Incoming calls) * Telephone charges apply *

  • Define options for one or more phone numbers
  • Option to start a call out for an event, supports recording a message of the event and selecting which members and contacts to call by role
  • Play informational messages to caller
  • Enable caller to send a message to a member (e.g. President), member receives an e-mail with a link to listen to the message
  • Allow caller to connect to a conference call
  • Can replay last call out message (see below) if member needs to re listen to the message after hanging up the original call out
  • Can require a member pass code to protect options
  • All prompts use text to speech or upload voice files to be played to the caller

Phone system (Outgoing calls - call out system) * Telephone charges apply *

  • Can be started using the web site, smartphone app or a phone number connected to the incoming calls system (see above)
  • Select groups of members to call by role
  • Can include both members and contacts in the call out
  • Can send a text before dialing numbers
  • Members and contacts called can reply with a text message as to whether they are attending or not along with any other information
  • If no text reply received in a defined period will start dialing up to three phone numbers
  • If call answered callee can be played an option list from which they can select whether they are attending or not
  • Call out can be started where no members or contacts are actually contacted, ideal if another dispatch system is used (e.g. pager) and you still want to allow those called in the call out to submit a response by text
  • Progress screen shows progress of all calls and responses selected (i.e. attending or not)
  • Progress screen auto refreshes every 30 seconds for up to an hour after the call out is started
  • Progress screen also shows responses by member certifications enabling a view of the level of resources attending
  • Can be used to call members or contacts and play a message with no call out
  • Can be used to connect members or contacts to a conference call when they answer the call
  • Use to send a text message only to members or contacts

Courses and presentations (E-learning management system)

Create your own online courses or presentations and assign a certification on completion.  Ideal for internal group certifications such as an annual safety awareness program

  • Same word processor style editor used for all other pages in VolunteerRescue with full support for attaching and embedding images
  • Header and footer sections for group branding and copyright messages
  • Option to force a strict page order ensuring the course is followed in the defined page sequence only allowing advancement through the course one page at a time
  • Definable background with field based configuration and for more advanced backgrounds direct access to the css that is used for the page
  • Support for chapters to group pages
  • Option to award a certification to a member upon completion of a course along with an optional expiry date or expiry period for the certification
  • Create course specific multiple choice questions and add the questions to one or more pages
  • Define a minimum pass rate for a page with questions which must be met before the member can advance to the next page in a course
  • Option to display correct answers after submission of answers for questions answered in error
  • Keeps track of the page a member was at in a course if they leave a course, when the member returns to the course at a later date they start at the page they were last at
  • Option to send a notification e-mail to administrator(s) when a member completes a course
  • Once a course has been completed a member can go back and look over the entire course at any time. When a certification is awarded upon completion of a course if the certification has an expiry date the member can only revisit the course prior to the certification expiry date after which the member must retake the course; this provides support for mandatory annual courses
  • Same access control as used throughout the rest of VolunteerRescue enabling courses to be restricted to groups of members
  • Full history kept of members that have taken the course along with all attempts to answer questions with full history of incorrect as well as correct answers
  • Uses HTML5 for support of mobile devices enabling a course to be viewed and suitably formatted for mobile devices

To do items

To do items define tasks that need to be carried out

  • Unlimited number of to do records supported
  • Create a general to do item or one specific to personnel, contact or asset (this provides the full historical maintenance log for assets)
  • Assign a to do item to personnel with automatic notification to do item has been assigned
  • Optionally specify the deadline to complete the to do item by
  • Unlimited number of updates to log all steps, personnel and time involved in completing the to do item
  • Uncompleted to do items can be shown on a calendar
  • To do items can be added manually or automatically created using a trigger based on date or asset usage
  • Attach uploaded files


  • Uses an open source reporting library that generates report templates
  • 95% of new reports can be added without the need for a software update
  • Over 40 existing report templates
  • Powerful selection criteria to filter report output and can include custom fields and lists
  • Selection criteria selections can be saved and reused, saved selections can be added as a menu option for instant reporting
  • Access control to allow/restrict access at individual report level
  • Reports can be created in pdf, html, odt and docx formats; many reports can also be output in csv format
  • Support for charts and graphs either on paper or in HTML5 format for on screen display supported on all devices


  • Unlimited number of forward e-mail addresses for individuals or groups to keep personal e-mail addresses confidential
  • Send e-mails direct from the service with support for attachments from the file store
  • Schedule e-mails to be sent at a date in the future
  • All automatic notifications are sent using customisable templates that use tokens which are replaced with specific information only when the e-mail is sent
  • Event e-mails contain an ics format attachment of the event details for adding the event to personal calendars


  • Integrates with Paypal using Website Payments Standard so there are no monthly fees, all you need is a Paypal business account
  • Has in built self signed certificate generation for supporting Paypal Encrypted buttons to protect against fraudulent payments
  • Includes support for recurring payments
  • Definable donation amounts with a default to encourage donors to contribute a desired minimum amount
  • Supports multiple projects with a target amount enabling donors to identify what they would like their contribution to go towards.  Projects can be shown with a graphic indicating amount raised against target
  • Definable tax receipt either as a whole or for individual projects
  • Confirmation e-mail sent to donor with a link to the tax receipt so they can print for their own records, confirmation page also displayed with a link to the tax receipt
  • Ability to add donations manually for offline contributions
  • CSV exports of donations for integration with an organisations finances administered in an external program such as a spreadsheet or accounting package


  • Add non event hours for day to day tasks to maintain a complete and accurate record of all personnel time or asset usage
  • Uses google maps for all addresses, for road maps uses geocoding to ensure address accuracy and for terrain maps location can be entered in either lat/long or UTM coordinates
  • All custom fields support types of single line text, multi line text, currency, date, date & time, number and phone number; all custom lists support single or multi select lists
  • Define multiple calendars with access control to allow/restrict access to individual calendars
  • Calendars can include public feeds to display events from external calendars
  • Personnel and contact details can be exported in vCard format for importing into mobile devices such as cell phones
  • Built in template for creating operating guidelines and policies
  • Create checklists for common tasks

Offline system

You have spent time adding and maintaining information centrally using an internet based system but how can you access this same information at a remote command post with no internet connection

  • Offline system runs 100% locally on a single host machine
  • Takes about 15-30 mins to initially set up
  • Once set up the central VolunteerRescue service will update it daily, this step requires an internet connection with the host machine connected to the internet
  • Not a cut down version, it runs exactly the same software as the central VolunteerRescue service so no need to learn a new system or interface
  • If a local network is available at the command post further machines can connect to the offline system providing distributed access to all information
  • Ideally suited to a laptop, when the call comes in just disconnect the laptop from the internet and take to the command post
  • Tested on Windows 7, MAC OS X and Linux giving the group control over which machine to use as the host machine


VolunteerRescue is built on the Drupal content management system (CMS), what we have done is to create a Drupal module of rescue organisation specific features.

  • Create your own web pages either to be viewed by the public or restricted to logged on personnel
  • Uses a word processor style editor to edit page contents
  • Files from the central store can be attached to pages and are integrated with the editor for easy insertion at any point in the page
  • HTML5 media support for embedding media at any point in a page with support for all devices
  • Access control to allow/restrict access to each individual page
  • Define your own or change existing menus
  • Includes the Drupal Webform module enabling the creation of your own forms
  • Includes the Drupal Forum module if you need an online forum, again access control can restrict access to the forum
  • Includes the Drupal Blog module if you want to provide personnel blogs
  • Uses SSL certificate (https) for all pages that contain protected information
  • Can replace or work alongside an existing group web site
  • You can keep your existing web domain address either by using a 301 redirect or by purchasing an annual secure certificate for around $70US per year
  • VolunteerRescue is provided as "Software as a Service" (SAAS), we take care of the hosting, backups, software updates etc... all you need is a browser and internet connection

Company security

  • No external funding currently required
  • The company has zero debt, no bank loans, no line of credit etc...
  • If the company ceases trading for any reason all source code will be made available, as the service is created on Drupal all the code has been written in line with the Drupal Development Framework and can be adopted by the 1000's of Drupal programmers worldwide