Albrecht Broemme, President of the German Federal Agency for Technical Relief on the 3rd European Congress of Local Governments

„Unus pro omnibus, omnes pro uno“, i.e. „One for all; All for one“ – the chosen motto of the German Fire Service. Other sectors in our life act according to the motto “everybody takes care for himself”.

Climate change is not a vague future prospect, it is already taking place. Concurrently, it is leading to locally limited as well as large-scale severe weather events. For affected areas this means that they are often unable to deal with the situation with the resources at their disposal.

Mutual assistance – true to the fire service motto – is more necessary than ever. This includes the cooperation of national and European resources. This also encompasses risk analysis as well as damage control measures. Substantial scope and need for action exists in evaluating damage losses and implementing practical measures to improve resilience. As ever, many urgent and necessary implementations fail not only due to the lack of financial resources, but also because of collective forgetfulness.

The THW is the German Federal Governments’ operative organisation in the field of civil protection and disaster response. Over 1,200 full-time personnel and 80,000 volunteers make up the THW. Since many years, THW closely cooperates with the Polish State Fire Service PSP.

Following a severe rainfall in Upper Bavaria in May/June 2016, some 2,200 THW personnel were operational for several days. They assisted in clearing blocked watercourses and roads, built bridges, purified oil-contaminated water, operated drinking water units and assisted the district with personnel and technical equipment for the operational command centre.

“Be prepared!”

– Albrecht Broemme is the president of the German Federal Agency for Technical Relief (THW). He will take part in the 3rd European Congress of Local Governments, taking part in the panel “Local Government in the Face of Natural Disasters. How to React Effectively?”