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Encyclopedia > Technisches Hilfswerk
THW-Logo
THW-Logo

The Bundesanstalt Technisches Hilfswerk (Federal Agency for Technical Relief, THW) is a disaster relief organisation controlled by the German federal government. 99% of its members are volunteers. Image File history File links Summary Logo of the German Federal Agency for Technical Relief Licensing File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... Image File history File links Summary Logo of the German Federal Agency for Technical Relief Licensing File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... Emergency operations or Emergency preparedness is a set of doctrines to prepare civil society to cope with natural or man-made disasters. ...

Contents

Tasks

The tasks of the THW are described in a law called Helferrechtsgesetz. These tasks are:

  • technical relief in Germany as part of the civil defence
  • with assignment by the government technical or humanitarian relief in foreign countries
  • technical and logistical relief for other (German) GOs, NGOs or other authorities like fire brigades, police or the custom authorities.

The term non-governmental organization (NGO) is used in a variety of ways all over the world and, depending on the context in which it is used, can refer to many different types of organizations. ... Firefighter with an axe A firefighter, sometimes still called a fireman though women have increasingly joined firefighting units, is a person who is trained and equipped to put out fires, rescue people and in some areas provide emergency medical services. ...

History

THW truck
THW truck
The THW during a flood disaster
The THW during a flood disaster

After World War II the Technisches Hilfswerk was founded in 1950. The main purpose was civil defense in the event of war. This has changed during the decades; today the THW is a capable helper in a wide spectrum of desasters. Such as traffic accidents, industrial desasters, earthquakes. The largest disaster control action took place in August 2002 after the severe flooding of the Elbe river in eastern Germany. All in all, about 24,000 THW members participated in the operation. Up to 10,000 people were helping simultaneously along the Elbe and its tributaries, see 2002 European flood. Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... Image File history File links Metadata No higher resolution available. ... Image File history File links Metadata No higher resolution available. ... Year 1950 (MCML) was a common year starting on Sunday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... Also see: 2002 (number). ... This article is about a river in Central Europe. ... In August of 2002 a 100-year flood caused by over a week of continuous heavy rains ravaged Europe, killing dozens, dispossessing thousands, and causing damages of billions of dollars in the Czech Republic, Austria, Germany, Slovakia, Poland, Hungary, Romania and Croatia. ...


The largest action outside Germany was in France in 2000. Storms destroyed much of the overhead electrical overland wires and overturned trees blocked many streets. The main work was supplying temporary electrical power for the hospitals and other important institutions and rebuilding parts of the electrical system. 2000 (MM) was a leap year starting on Saturday of the Gregorian calendar. ...


The organisation has also been active in many disaster relief operations abroad, for example after the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake (for both relief operations and medium-term rebuilding), Hurricane Katrina in 2005, and the 2005 Kashmir earthquake. The 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake, known by the scientific community as the Sumatra-Andaman earthquake,[1] was a great undersea earthquake that occurred at 00:58:53 UTC (07:58:53 local time) December 26, 2004 with an epicentre off the west coast of Sumatra, Indonesia. ... Lowest pressure 902 mbar (hPa; 26. ... The Kashmir earthquake (also known as the South Asia earthquake or Pakistan earthquake) of 2005 was a major earthquake whose epicenter was the Pakistan-administered disputed region of Kashmir. ...


Organisation

A Tatra 815 of the THW
A Tatra 815 of the THW
THW six-wheel lorry at volunteer fair in Travemünde
THW six-wheel lorry at volunteer fair in Travemünde

The THW is stationed all over Germany in 669 local bases, called Ortsverbände. 80,000 people work for this organisation. The majority of those are volunteers, while about 800 work full-time in the administration of the organisation. Each Ortsverband maintains one or more Technische Züge (technical platoons), each consisting of one Zugtrupp (command team), comprising four volunteers, two Bergungsgruppen comprising nine to twelve volunteers, and one to three Fachgruppen, comprising four to eighteen volunteers. The main THW unit (about two out of three) is the Bergungsgruppe (rescue and salvage squad), equipped with heavy tools like hydraulic scissors, chain saws, pneumatic hammers, ...). The Fachgruppen (specialized squads) include: Image File history File links Metadata Size of this preview: 800 × 524 pixelsFull resolution (1000 × 655 pixel, file size: 173 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) (Uploaded using CommonsHelper or PushForCommons) File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... Image File history File links Metadata Size of this preview: 800 × 524 pixelsFull resolution (1000 × 655 pixel, file size: 173 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) (Uploaded using CommonsHelper or PushForCommons) File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... Image File history File links Metadata Size of this preview: 800 × 600 pixelsFull resolution (1600 × 1200 pixel, file size: 791 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... Image File history File links Metadata Size of this preview: 800 × 600 pixelsFull resolution (1600 × 1200 pixel, file size: 791 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ...

  • Infrastruktur (infrastructure),
  • Räumen (debris clearance),
  • Elektroversorgung (electric supply),
  • Beleuchtung (illumination),
  • Wasserschaden / Pumpen (water-damage / pumping),
  • Wassergefahren (water-hazard),
  • Logistik (logistics),
  • Ölschaden (oil pollution),
  • Trinkwasserversorgung (water supply and treatment),
  • Führung und Kommunikation (command and communications)
  • Ortung (detection)

among others. For relief in foreign countries, there are four Schnelleinsatzeinheiten Bergung Ausland or SEEBA (rapid deployment unit search and rescue) (able to go airborne within six hours!) and five Schnelleinsatzeinheiten Wasserversorgung Ausland or SEEWA (rapid deployment water supply and treatment). Look up Logistics in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ...


In Germany, military service is mandatory for adult males. Instead of joining the military for nine months full-time, one of the alternatives ist to join a non-combatant volunteer organisation of German Katastrophenschutz (disaster relief) or Zivilschutz (civil defense) for a minimum of six years. The THW is one of those organisations, as well as volunteer fire brigades or various organisations engaged in emergency medical service. See also conscription in Germany. Emergency operations or Emergency preparedness is a set of doctrines to prepare civil society to cope with natural or man-made disasters. ... The old United States civil defense logo. ... Germany has conscription (Wehrpflicht) for male citizens. ...


References

Wikimedia Commons has media related to:
Technisches Hilfswerk
  • THW - Homepage Official homepage, in German
  • THW - Homepage English version
  • Technisches Hilfswerk - German Federal Agency for Technical Relief Short summary in English (PDF file)

  Results from FactBites:
 
Technisches Hilfswerk - definition of Technisches Hilfswerk in Encyclopedia (412 words)
The Bundesanstalt Technisches Hilfswerk THW (German for: German Federal Agency for Technical Relief) is an organisation of the German government.
After World War II the Technisches Hilfswerk was founded in 1950.
The main purpose was the civil defense in case of a war.
Technisches Hilfswerk - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (568 words)
The Bundesanstalt Technisches Hilfswerk THW (German for: Federal Technical Relief Agency) is an organisation of the German government.
Each Ortsverband maintains one or more Technische Züge (technical platoons), each consisting of one Zugtrupp (command squad) - comprised of four volunteers -, two Bergungsgruppen comprised of 9 to 12 volunteers and one to three Fachgruppen comprised of 4 to 18 volunteers.
Technisches Hilfswerk - German Federal Agency for Technical Relief Short summary in English (PDF file)
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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