Dear friends and supporters,
The year 2010 began with a great challenge for @fire due to the earthquake in Haiti. As the first German search and rescue unit on the ground, our team was able to provide valuable assistance here. Moving forward, 2010 was also an important year for the development of @fire as an effective and globally operating aid organisation. The focus was on networking as a basis for integration into the international aid system and the continuous training of our operational staff and external forces.
A special highlight was the Interschutz trade fair in Leipzig, the leading international trade fair for fire protection and disaster management. Thanks to the help of our members and donors, we were able to present ourselves there with a very attractive stand.
The continuous exchange of experience with our partners at national and international level led to another special milestone in the association’s history in August: membership in INSARAG*, the international working group of rescue teams under the umbrella of the United Nations.
Both in forest fire fighting and in heavy rescue after building collapses, we held extensive training events in 2010. Although our helpers usually already have qualified training as firefighters or in rescue services, this is not enough to meet the diverse requirements of foreign missions. The key to safe and effective field operations here is thorough and continuous preparation.
But an important goal of @fire is also the transfer of knowledge. We are happy to pass on the experience and knowledge we gain during exercises and operations to the emergency services of the municipal fire brigades, so that damage cases can be better dealt with in large and small disasters.
The establishment and operation of a logistics base with an extensive training facility as the material “heart” of the association was also another important step in 2010. This now provides even better opportunities for extensive training as well as maintenance of the technical equipment.
For the future, we plan to expand our competences and technical equipment. In line with our motto “Firefighters help worldwide”, we will thus be able to help those affected even faster and more effectively in the event of disasters all over the world.