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German Federal Agency for Technical Relief (THW) takes over IFAFRI Chairmanship

01 Dec 2021
German Federal Agency for Technical Relief (THW) takes over IFAFRI Chairmanship

About seven years ago, 14 international government leaders set the cornerstone to the todays IFAFRI network with the noble aim of giving first responders a greater voice. Today IFAFRI is a global network of 16 members who contribute to the fulfilment of the network’s goals to assist industry and academia and stimulate and shape the development of solutions.

I am honoured to announce that THW will chair IFAFRI during the next two years which is a privilege, but also very big responsibility at the same time. We are taking over the chairmanship from the European Commission DG HOME who has taken excellent care of this network during the previous three years. Your leadership and development of the network is very much appreciated.

IFAFRI is about connecting organisations with organisations, people with ideas, and people with opportunities. As the chair, THW will focus on creating structures that enable the network members to connect and distill the collective experience and shared expertise. THW will continue the valuable work from the European Commission DG Home setting up an infrastructure that the network members themselves are able to participate and initiate activities, share information and be the creators of a fruitful IFAFRI future.

IFAFRI is a peer-to-peer network with the focus on giving and receiving, the value is created through the member’s active participation. This is also a fundamental principle in THW: giving our best, succeeded together. Across the world, the structure of THW is unique: as Germanys operational civil protection organisation, the Federal Agency for Technical Relief is both government authority and a volunteer-based organisation. Distributed across Germany, our operational units’ compatibility and our common standards ensure quick and rapid assistance, which can also be provided beyond regional borders. With the recent disastrous floods in Western Germany the THW teams are at the forefront of search and rescue operations, helping clear debris, build bridges and bringing critical infrastructure back online. Giving our best, succeeding together! I wish you all continuous fruitful co-operation and looking forward to the upcoming IFAFRI events. Stay healthy!

Gerd Friedsam
President of the Federal Agency for Technical Relief

Source: IFAFRI Newsletter, December 2021

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