Emergency Response Unit

Disaster and conflict devastate lives and livelihoods, affecting millions of people every year. It is the most vulnerable who suffer the greatest, with more than 90 per cent of disaster-related deaths happening in developing countries. In the immediate aftermath of an emergency, a country’s existing systems can be temporarily overloaded or absent altogether.

Emergency Response Units (ERU) do the following:

  • Respond quickly to sudden or slow-onset emergencies
  • Provide fast and efficient disaster response relief worldwide
  • Ensure that emergency relief is timely and standardized
  • Assist in the diverse and long-term needs of affected people


What is a Health Emergency Response Unit?

A Health ERU is comprised of highly qualified and trained personnel and standardized equipment ready to be deployed to emergencies at short notice.

The Canadian Red Cross, with the support of the Government of Canada, has two health ERUs on standby: a field clinic (also called Basic Health Care Unit) and a field hospital (also called Rapid Deployment Emergency Hospital). Following a major emergency, the preparedness, reliability and flexibility of those allows for rapid deployment anywhere in the world within 48-hours, be fully self-sufficient for one month, and operate for up to four months with a multidisciplinary team of 10 to 20 aid workers.

Within 12 hours after arrival, a Health ERU can start providing health care services, including mother and child care, surgery, community health and psychosocial first aid and treat up to 300 patients a day when fully functional.



Who is on the Red Cross ERU team?

The success of an ERU deployment relies on the quality, flexibility, and skills of its aid workers. Those delegates are highly qualified professionals and often hold regular positions within their field of expertise. In addition to their skills, Red Cross delegates receive extensive training that prepares them to respond to emergencies around the world.



If you are interested to become a Red Cross International Aid worker, you can submit your application online. The Red Cross is constantly looking for the following profiles:

  • Nurses
  • Doctors
  • Surgeons and Anesthetists
  • Social workers
  • Midwives
  • X-Ray and Lab Technicians
  • Psychological professionals
  • Administrators/Managers
  • Logisticians
  • Technicians (Electrical, Water and Sanitation, Shelter, general Trades and IT/Telecom)