Proposal:Red Cross

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Red Cross
Proposal status: Abandoned (inactive)
Proposed by: Sege
Tagging: amenity=red_cross
Applies to: node/area
Definition: Buildings used by Red Cross and familiar organizations

Draft started:
Proposed on: 2007-10-22
RFC start: 2007-10-22




Would give the oportunity to show Red Cross organizations in the Map. There are many rescue stations all across the country, owned by the Red Cross, and many dispotions of specialized organizations like the Mountain Rescue, Water Rescue....

Applies to

Nodes, maybe also areas


A node or area could be tagged as:

<tag k="amenity" v="red_cross"/>
<tag k="name" v="BRK Bergwacht Bereitschaft XY"/>


<tag k="amenity" v="red_cross"/>
<tag k="red_cross" v="mountain_rescue"/>
<tag k="name" v="Bereitschaft XY"


Either a red cross with the name of the organization / building or a special icon for every organization.


Bergwacht bayern.png Zeichen 358 - Erste Hilfe, StVO 1992.svg


What about "Red Crescent" in islamic countries? Ok, "International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement" has as domain, but perhaps there should be an alias.

--Lolli78 21:40, 22 October 2007 (BST)

  • What about 'rescue' or something alike. At least in Germany there are similar organisations like Malteser, Johaniter and ASB, actually doing the same job. The 'operator'-tag would serve for further separation. -- Fröstel 22:44, 22 October 2007 (BST)
Would this be confused with the generalised use of red cross for medical facilities? ShakespeareFan00 23:31, 22 October 2007 (BST)
  • I would also like to see a more generic proposal not restricted to the Red Cross, just like Fröstel suggested. What about 'search_and_rescue'? --Wabba 08:48, 23 October 2007 (BST)
Yes, 'search_and_rescue' 'rescue' 'emergency_post'or some such might work better internationally. For example, in the UK, Mountain Rescue tends to be volunteer bodies; in Australia, there is a government agency called SES (Special Emergency Service?) and so on. Would this cause a problem for the proposer's country? It is certainly a useful proposal otherwise. MikeCollinson 19:23, 23 October 2007 (BST)
No, I can't think of a problem, as the Mountain Rescue here is also a organization by volunteers like in the UK. I think the suggestion of 'search_and_rescue' is better as it is far more general as what I imagined with the Red_Cross tag. This would also give us the opportunity to merge it with the firestations, as there is already a tag for them. So I think I will move this to a 'search_and_rescue' tag. sege 15:09, 24 October 2007 (CEST)
Personally I'd prefer rescue, because it's a) shorter and b) a normal ambulance doesn't have to search. SAR is only appropriate for organisations, which are active in remote areas, but it's rescue what the Mountain Rescue and an urban ambulance have in common. -- Fröstel 20:11, 26 October 2007 (BST)
  • I'd vote for going with a more generic aproach of emergency service covering all police, fire and emergency medical stations. Over here the same operator provides fire service and medical service. Sometimes different operators share the same station, too. This would fit with the new operator key. Like emergency=station operator=red_cross or emergency=helipad operator=ADAC etc. Dekarl 19:03, 31 October 2007 (UTC)
  • I'd like to second the proposal for the more generic 'emergency service'. If you think about it logically these features are what people might search for in an emergency and this category is going to be the first thing they think of. If we start being too specific then we end up with categories for public and private, mountain, sea, air (you can see where I'm going with this!) Maff2k 14:26 8 February 2008 (GMT)
  • So, then anyone ready to propose that new page with 'emergency service'? I could, but maybe you want to create the page first? Gnetter 19:53, 16 March 2010 (UTC

I would like to provide some clarifications about the "Red Cross":

  1. There is no difference between Red Cross and Red Crescent and the official name of the all movement is "International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement", recognised by most countries and having its own status.
  2. The movement comprises:
    1. the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC)
    2. the Internal Federation of the Red Cross (IFRC)
    3. all the national societies, that have chosen their emblem when created, either the Red Cross or the Red Crescent (and Red Lion for Iran and Red Star for Israel, but I will not enter in this here).
  3. The use of the emblem is protected by the International Humanitarian Law and is restricted to the members of the movement and the armies (for their ambulances, etc.). No other organisation is allowed to use it. The emblem is used either as a protective measure to be clearly identified on the battlefield (big Red Cross on ICRC's vehicles for example) or as identification (the ICRC's delegates badges of on website for example). therefore, when an NGO is displaying a red cross on its vehicles, it is abusing the emblem. The reason for this is that the Red Cross members, and in particular the ICRC, have a strict neutrality principle that guarantees the parties to a conflict that they will not act against their interests, which is the basis for the Red Cross safety.
  4. In many countries, the red cross emblem is used to identify health facilities, which is also an abuse of the emblem and the fact that many online maps designed from OpenStreetMap are doing the same for medical amenities consists of the same mistake that contributes to the misunderstanding and misuse of the emblem.

Considering all this, in my opinion, we should first of all avoid putting within the same amenity the Red Cross entities and other rescue organisationss as it would contribute to further confuse the use of the emblem. But even more than that, I would not create a Red Cross amenity in OSM without the approval of the RCRC Movement and I am neither convinced of the need for it.