Global Rescue Trailhead Rescue Service

Global Rescue is the leading worldwide provider of field rescue, medical advisory and evacuation, and security extraction services. To use your Trailhead Rescue benefit, AAC members must call Global Rescue as soon as possible during an emergency.  Global Rescue services are available throughout the world, including the United States.  The 24-hour Global Rescue Operation Center phone number is 1-617-459-4200.

If you would like to upgrade your coverage to one of the full Global Rescue plans and save 5% off of the cost of the plan, or you would like to contact Global Rescue for general information, please call 800-381-9754.

Full Global Rescue memberships provide up to $500,000 of rescue and evacuation services and cover any emergency you may encounter—not just backcountry incidents.  Services are provided from the point of injury or illness to the member's hospital of choice, anytime he or she is more than 100 miles from home. (Note: The 100 mile limitation does not apply to the AAC's basic Trailhead Rescue benefit)

Full membership also ensures that the member’s care will be followed closely by Global Rescue's doctors, paramedics and physicians at Johns Hopkins Department of Emergency Medicine Division of Special Operations. Often, Global Rescue's medical personnel will be with the patient during the rescue.

1. How does Global Rescue know I am a member?

Global Rescue has real-time, instant access to the AAC's member database. You do not need your membership card or other proof of membership to receive Global Rescue's services as long as your membership is paid and up to date.

2. If I sign up for one of Global Rescue’s upgraded services on top of my AAC benefit, will I have the FULL cost of any evacuation (subject to the stated limitations) covered?

As an AAC member, you have two options. The first is the benefit included with your membership:
$7,500 worth of Global Rescue services to the trailhead. Global Rescue absorbs the first $7,500 of costs;
you pay the rest.  When an AAC member upgrades to the Full Global Rescue Membership, available
either per trip or for an annual term, they are provided with up to $500,000 of rescue and evacuation
services. For full Global Rescue members, services don't end at the trailhead – members are transported to a medical facility and those who need to be hospitalized after a rescue can choose to be transported back to their home country hospital of choice.  For example, rather than spending a month in the Interlaken Regional Hospital in Switzerland, Global Rescue will bring you back home on a medically-equipped aircraft or with a medical team on a commercial flight to be hospitalized close to your friends, family, and own doctors who can provide continuity of care as you recover. 

Full Global Rescue members also benefit from Global Rescue’s best-in-class medical advisory services, offered in conjunction with partners at Johns Hopkins Department of Emergency Medicine Division of Special Operations, consistently ranked the #1 medical institution in the U.S. since 1990.  AAC members get a 5% discount off this upgraded service, with individual plans starting at $119.

To sign up for the upgraded service plan, please visit Global Rescue's website.


3. What activities does the service cover, and where do I have to be to receive the service?

The benefits of Global Rescue's Trailhead Rescue Service apply to any land-based backcountry activity beyond the trailhead. Global Rescue will coordinate a rescue from the time you are beyond the trailhead and/or in the backcountry until the time you return to the trailhead, provided you initiate the rescue by calling Global Rescue’s Operation Center.  If you choose to upgrade to the Full Global Rescue Membership, offered at a 5% discount through the AAC, this rescue service begins once you are at least 100 miles from your home. The basic AAC Global Rescue membership does not have this mileage.


4. Are there any elevation restrictions?  Are there any areas in which Global Rescue will not provide services?

There are no elevation limitations with Global Rescue.  Any elevation is eligible for a Global Rescue coordinated evacuation.  But, Global Rescue cannot guarantee rescue in U.S. State Department “Travel
Warning List” countries, war zones and/or in places where there is a chance that the rescue team's lives are in imminent danger.  Global Rescue will do everything short of endangering additional lives to facilitate rescue in those areas.  In places where Global Rescue’s team can’t participate directly, they may still be able to help with the coordination and communication. Please remember that the Global Rescue Trailhead Rescue Service benefit applies only to rescue and evacuation expenses and does not apply to the search process.

The Trailhead Rescue Service benefit applies only to rescue and evacuation expenses and does not apply to the search process.


5. What happens in the event that a call for rescue is placed to local services rather than Global Rescue?

Global Rescue requires that the first call be placed directly to the Global Rescue Operations Center. However, there may be times when an AAC member (or someone else on the member's behalf) simply calls the local "911" number first.  In those cases, Global Rescue needs to be notified as soon as possible, especially while the rescue is still in process.  This will allow Global Rescue to provide full capabilities of logistical support to the mission, form contingency plans, utilize a full team of evacuation experts, and ensure up to $7,500 in benefits.  Educate next of kin, partners and guides by providing them with instructions and the Global Rescue Operation Center phone number prior to engaging in the activity.


6. How does this work if I am out of the country?

If you are out of the country, you will still need to contact Global Rescue to expedite the rescue process. If placing an international call will be difficult, be sure to educate your trip leader or guide, team members, next of kin and/or emergency contact ahead of time that he or she will need to call the Global Rescue Operation Center if there is an accident or emergency.  Also take advantage of Global Rescue’s GRID destination reports for local emergency telephone numbers.


7. How do I contact Global Rescue if I am in the mountains with no phone service?

As is the case in any backcountry rescue or evacuation situation, a rescuer may first have to travel to a place where a rescue phone call or communication can be placed.  If the first phone call or rescue communication for some reason does not go to Global Rescue, be sure to involve Global Rescue as soon as possible.

It is highly recommended that travelers in remote locations equip themselves with two-way communication systems.  Global Rescue is able to perform pre-trip communication checks with you, and these systems also provide GPS location services and communication capabilities with field personnel.


8. Is the Global Rescue hotline phone number staffed 24/7?

The hotline is staffed 24/7 and is made up of critical care trained paramedics, former Navy SEALs, Army Rangers, and other experts in organizing and coordinating medical and security support and evacuation efforts in complicated scenarios.


9. Does Global Rescue have the infrastructure to respond to emergencies as quickly and reliably as calling 911 or a local EMS system?

Global Rescue’s response team, as described above, has an extensive network. Coordination of and guidance to local SAR teams make it quicker, more reliable and more cost-effective for you.


10. As an AAC member, I am eligible for the first $7,500 of Global Rescue’s services. Are Global Rescue’s
services more costly than local rescue providers, considering overhead or administrative costs?

Global Rescue’s services are typically considerably less expensive than direct sourcing of local rescue services because of the ability to negotiate lower pricing. Global Rescue is not in the business of marking up rescue services. When coordinating a rescue, Global Rescue will charge for the time and effort of our staff, but the fee is usually quite nominal compared to the full cost of rescue. Some situations will require a high level of logistics coordination while others may require very little. It is worth noting that typical fees for rescue operations (on a “fee-for-service” basis) can be quite high, considering the costs of aircrafts and medical personnel.

Banner photo: AAC member Andrew Bradberry