Talk:Proposed features/Rescue Stations

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Recent discussion on the Tagging list has made me look again at the tagging of various Emergency facilities.

There are currently a number of more-or-less duplicated tags, most of which don’t appear to ever have been discussed, or voted on, & most of which either aren’t defined at all, or if they are, aren’t worded very well.

This was also discussed at & on a similar proposal which was started in 2008, but apparently never proceeded with?

Currently, the emergency= key lists “Other Stations” with =mountain_rescue being the only one listed.

I am suggesting changing that heading to “Rescue Stations” broken down into what “type” of rescue that station carries out eg rescue=disaster_response / mountain_rescue / marine_rescue / mine_rescue etc

  • Thinking about this further, would "Rescue Services" be a better heading than "Stations"? --Fizzie41 (talk) 20:49, 7 December 2020 (UTC)

So an Emergency Service station would appear as emergency=rescue_station + rescue=disaster_response + name=Southport SES + operator=Queensland State Emergency Service etc

  • From discussions on the tagging list, it would seem to be a better option to still change the heading to "Rescue Stations" but then keep the same format as currently existing for =mountain_rescue eg emergency=rescue_stations + emergency=disaster_response --Fizzie41 (talk) 22:14, 6 December 2020 (UTC)
    • As "Rescue Stations / Services" is only a header, I've realised that it wouldn't be mentioned against the actual tag, so each tag would only be eg emergency=disaster_response

Disaster_response would be for each countries main Emergency Rescue / Civil Defence service. This is the place you call for help during floods, if your roof is damaged during a storm etc (see discussion at

Mountain_rescue would be as per the existing tag Would this also cover general ski / snow rescue, or should they be listed separately?

Marine_rescue would involve deprecating the two existing Coast Guard tags – to be discussed separately.

Mine_rescue would be for Mine Rescue squads

Plus any other dedicated Rescue units.

On that, the emergency_service proposal also listed, but this would appear to be a similar organisation to the Australian State Emergency Service, so would be included under the rescue=disaster_response classification.

There is also a separate tag which again has never been discussed. This should also be deprecated in favour of emergency=rescue_station with the existing stations re-tagged appropriately.

There would be no change to the existing emergency=ambulance_station.

The existing lifeguard classifications could either remain as they are, or all be moved to this key as rescue=water_rescue?

However, the existing amenity=fire_station should also be changed to emergency=fire_station, & listed under the Firefighters heading.

Any of these stations could be tagged either as an area, outlining their grounds, or as a building=yes with a node included for the type of station.

An appropriate render would be a simple SOS (which I think means Emergency in any language?), while area rendering would be the pink as used for existing Police & Fire stations.

Thanks for this proposal. My opinion. I would be more in favour of a system emergency=rescue_station + rescue_station=* (mountain_rescue, marine_rescue,...). This qualifies a place from where the help starts. And you can specify which help it is. and allow perhaps more possible values (depending on the organization of each country) than if one specifies directly with emergency=* and thus multiply the values in a 1st level tag (which complicates reuse).
For me, rescue_service is more similar to the administrative service (or at least non-operational) than rescue_station. For offices, we could use office=rescue_service but this is another proposal to make ;) Gendy54 (talk) 23:31, 10 December 2020 (UTC)

Thanks for your comments. I must admit to still being a little either / or myself in regard to =rescue_station v rescue_service? :Going down from there, I originally had it as rescue=xxx, but discussion on the list thought that rescue=marine_rescue was a bit :awkward, so I changed it to emergency=xxx --Fizzie41 (talk) 02:41, 11 December 2020 (UTC)

Move to Proposed_features/Rescue_Stations

I recommend moving this page to Proposed_features/Rescue_Stations because this is a proposal, and normally proposals are under the Proposed_features heading. See Proposal_process#Creating_a_proposal_page --Jeisenbe (talk) 06:17, 6 December 2020 (UTC)


It will also be necessary to depreciate the use of amenity=lifeboat_station and emergency=lifeboat_station Gendy54 (talk) 23:50, 18 December 2020 (UTC)

Thanks! Hadn't spotted those. There are probably other similar variations out there that will be found over time --Fizzie41 (talk) 00:59, 19 December 2020 (UTC)

'marine' v inland waterways

Marine refers specifically to 'the sea'. There are water-bourne rescue stations on freshwater bodies too. Jnicho02 (talk) 07:41, 21 December 2020 (UTC)

Yes, there are. Are you aware of an overall term to describe such units? Will just changing the Marine Rescue definition to include "on inland lakes" or similar wording, cover this situation? --Fizzie41 (talk) 22:23, 21 December 2020 (UTC)

Discussions copied from voting area: replacing amenity=lifeboat_station with emergency=marine_rescue is problematic for inland ones. See that found See also for example that operates some inland rescue stations that are not mapped for now or mapped by just a name - see or search for "WOPR" ( - note that some of them may not be rescue stations but for example offices). Sorry for not commenting earlier :( Mateusz Konieczny (talk) 11:24, 21 December 2020 (UTC)

  • Thank you for pointing those places out, but, from what I can make out via Google Translate of wiki & home pages, they would all appear to be primarily lifeguard services ie looking after the safety of swimmers, rather than vessels & sailors? Is anybody able to please confirm this for me? If they are, then they should all probably be mapped under one of the existing lifeguard tags? As for Tower Bridge Lifeboat Station, the Marine Rescue definition could be, & now has been, amended to "dedicated to the rescue of vessels &/or sailors at sea, or on inland waterways" --Fizzie41 (talk) 22:48, 21 December 2020 (UTC)
    • At least (at relatively small lake) has speedboats and other equipment capable of rescuing people sailing in deeper waters, about 1.5 km from shore (not farther, as middle of lake is 1-2 km from nearest land). In the worst case they would be rescuing (coordinating rescue) from big tourism ships circling lake and carrying about 100-200 people or people from sailing boats who ignored warning of an incoming storm.
    • I am not familiar with Baikal or other actually big lakes but I expect that they may have similar or more serious rescue services, comparable with marine ones.Mateusz Konieczny (talk) 08:33, 22 December 2020 (UTC)
      • See for some photos Mateusz Konieczny (talk) 08:36, 22 December 2020 (UTC)
      • Yes, they do have that capability, the same as dedicated Blue-Water Marine Rescue units have the capability of rescuing swimmers who get into trouble close to the beach, & even in rivers - Been There, Done That!, but it's not their primary intended function. In a similar way, in the past Police have put out fires & delivered babies, & Fire Brigade personnel have detained criminals, but while they "can" do it, that is not their designated role. In OSM, just because a shop sells lollies, chips & soft drinks, we don't call it a convenience store, we call it a newsagent, because that is it's primary role. Units that are primarily intended as lifeguards ie guarding swimmers, should be called (one of the varieties of) "lifeguard", while units that are intended to help vessels / sailors in distress should be Marine Rescue. --Fizzie41 (talk) 23:21, 22 December 2020 (UTC)
      • I don't know about Baikal either, but, TBMK, there are no dedicated rescue units, either for boats or swimmers, on any lake, dam or river in Australia. If a boat doesn't return, it becomes a Water Police case, usually assisted by the State Emergency Service, both of whom have to bring their boats to the scene via trailers on road, & other private vessels.
      • It turns out that yes, there is a Rescue unit covering the Baikal area:, but, despite the photo of a very nice Rescue boat, I would classify them under the emergency=disaster_response tag --Fizzie41 (talk) 23:21, 22 December 2020 (UTC)
        • "but it's not their primary intended function" - in case of this unit their primary purpose is to handle things happening on sailing boats. Though they seem more likely to act as water-based ambulance, not to handle sinking vessels (heart attacks likely kill more people on sailing boats there than storms). Mateusz Konieczny (talk) 23:46, 22 December 2020 (UTC)

Which unit / group are you referring to, please? --Fizzie41 (talk) 03:10, 23 December 2020 (UTC)

Thank you. It's very hard to be certain when you have to work with Google Translate to understand anything about them, but their name seems to translate to "Masurian Volunteer Ambulance Service"? Would that be right? Although one website also mentions "Voluntary Water Rescue Service" with the same contact phone number as the MOPR site? But that's fine - that just means that they're an inland Marine Rescue unit. --Fizzie41 (talk) 22:52, 23 December 2020 (UTC)
  • "Masurian Volunteer Ambulance Service" works as an exact translation, but I would use rather "Masurian Volunteer Rescue Service". Maybe "Masurian Volunteer Water Rescue Service" as "Water" part is not obviously implied in English. 601 100 100 is an emergency number - hopefully still shared by MOPR and WOPR after they split. Mateusz Konieczny (talk) 07:35, 24 December 2020 (UTC)
Thanks - I did notice WOPR on one of the boats in the background imagery on the MOPR site & wondered about it. Interestingly, I always just found this when looking for a translation of WOPR:, which would then suggest it's more lifeguard (ie swimmers) than Marine Rescue (boats)? --Fizzie41 (talk) 00:56, 25 December 2020 (UTC)
Yes, in most cases they act as lifeguards, often in places too small to launch a boat. Though on Mazurian lakes there are some stations (like linked one) that are long distance, for example in linked case noone is allowed (or going to) swim in marina, they solely handle rescue on lakes (but there will be also multiple MOPR lifeguards on protected beaches) Mateusz Konieczny (talk) 10:13, 25 December 2020 (UTC)
In the USA the Coast Guard also provides lifesaving services for ships on the Great Lakes: --Jeisenbe (talk) 07:32, 24 December 2020 (UTC)
Yes, I was aware of that, thanks. Interestingly, from something I spotted a few days ago, it appears that the Great Lakes are NOT actually Inland Waters, at least of the US! "Are the Great Lakes Inland Waters of the US? - While US vessels navigating on the Great Lakes follow the Inland Rules of the Road, the Great Lakes are NOT Inland Waters of the United States." I can't find any reference from the Canadian side to say what they classify them as? --Fizzie41 (talk) 00:56, 25 December 2020 (UTC)
Incidentally, as those Coast Guard stations include as some as their duties Homeland Security & Law Enforcement, they would count as "armed", so would come under the "military" side of things, as discussed in the other proposal/s, & be mapped as military=bases (assuming that that proposal gets through?) --Fizzie41 (talk) 01:06, 25 December 2020 (UTC)


Concern was raised during voting about a possible clash between Marine Rescue & the existing emergency=water_rescue_station. My apologies - I thought it had been discussed here but it had actually been mentioned in Tagging list discussions on my other Coastguard proposal: As mentioned, as far as I can tell, that tag is a direct translation of the German term Wasserrettungsstation, & appears to mainly refer to a lifeguard service ie dedicated to preventing swimmers from drowning, & so should probably be merged with one of the existing emergency=lifeguard tags --Fizzie41 (talk) 04:05, 31 December 2020 (UTC)


Concern was also raised concerning whether or not mine_rescue should even be included as these stations may not even exist? Personally, as I am not a miner, I must say that no, I have never actually seen one, although I have added details to a fire station on the grounds of a colliery, & the next building was mapped as a building=yes + name=Mine Rescue. On searching further, I've found: - possibly training facilities - again possibly training, & which would seem to indicate indicate that yes, they are actually still a thing --Fizzie41 (talk) 04:05, 31 December 2020 (UTC)

I have similar concerns regarding this value and after reading your links, I think this would work better as a subtag to amenity=fire_station, especially as 3 out 4 mentioned incidents on "Ontario Mine Rescue" involve a fire. To me this doesn't really look different to other factory fire departments, like e.g. at chemical plants, that are more specialised and also better equipped in the respective fields.--TOGA (talk) 18:09, 2 January 2021 (UTC)

My proposal

Following the vote, it seems to me that there is still some work to be done, but it is progressing.

Tagging to be changed:

  • emergency=rescue_station (mandatory) a generalist tag, to which details will be added if possible. Otherwise operator=* can make the difference if there are no suitable values in the following list. NSI can help to do this.

This tag is for rescue_station and not office. I propose for this last case office=rescue_service

Subtag (optionnal):

For information, in France, the distinction between marine_rescue and lifeguard_rescue is made 300 metres from the edge of the beach.

This proposal of subtag may also be:

SES Station

For emergency=ses_station I have read the wikipedia page on the organisation SES. For me rescue_station=disaster_response is a tag that matches. But we could use a generalist tag like rescue_station=civil_defense. Otherwise operator=* can make the difference with other services. NSI can help to do this.

The following tagging is deprecated, to be replaced with:

Gendy54 (talk) 12:35, 2 January 2021 (UTC)

Thank you very much for such a detailed suggestion, which mostly does match with what I was attempting. I realise now that I tried to cram way too much into one proposal, rather than doing each one individually. I'll leave it for the remainder of the day, then close this proposal & start again! --Fizzie41 (talk) 02:42, 3 January 2021 (UTC)
All it took was a little inspiration. On the other hand, I discussed this proposal with a friend. The 2nd solution (with yes/no for each value) should rather be promoted to avoid multivalues. If you have a station that treats several emergencies, you will have no other choice than multivalues, and this solution is to be absolutely avoided Gendy54 (talk) 18:52, 3 January 2021 (UTC)