Floods: 900 trained helpers from Order of Malta Aid Service in Germany bring support to flood victims
As threats for further flood damage in Germany continue, the Order of Malta Aid Service (MalteserHilfsdienst) is in action in flood areas. Due to the dangerous situation, only specialised emergency services from the disaster control units can currently be deployed. They face major challenges, including the trauma of both victims and helpers.
The organisation’s president, Georg Khevenhüller: “The operational situations in Rhineland-Palatinate and North Rhine-Westphalia are dramatic and are still changing constantly. The dangers for the lives of the residents affected by the flood and also for colleagues in the fire brigade, for example, are very high.
“The Maltese Service is supporting the fire brigades, the technical relief organisation, the water rescue and the police in their use by providing food and care, for example by setting up resting places. In addition, pastors and trained colleagues are available to provide psychosocial support for the emergency services, because many helpers are currently confronted with such a disaster situation for the first time.”
“The organisation has been overwhelmed with donations of goods in kind. Khevenhüller declares: “It is gratifying that the willingness to help is enormous.“
The situation is very varied from place to place. “In some areas we are still rescuing and caring for people. In others, people are already cleaning up and we are trying to help,” said Douglas Saurma, European President of the Order of Malta International. “We especially want to support people in need of assistance who are not eligible for insurance payouts or government benefits. We would be very grateful for any further donations that we can put to use for those affected.”
Special thanks go to all of the people of the Order of Malta who have been working since last Wednesday. “We are very proud of our emergency services who help people in need under the most difficult conditions. This applies to our full-time employees, but also especially to the many volunteers who immediately signaled their readiness and tackled things”, said Khevenhüller.
Photo: Malteser Dortmund