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Premiere: Volunteer Civil Protection Volunteers for Jordan

Bonn. Today sees the first-ever civil defense volunteers being trained in Amman (Jordan) for possible missions in the wake of natural disasters. Volunteer trainers from the Technische Hilfswerk (THW) and a project team with full-time THW staff are acting as mentors to provide support for their Jordanian colleagues.

“Here, today, an important building block is being put in place to establish the foundations of a volunteer-based civil defense system for Jordan and the region,” said THW Vice-President Gerd Friedsam, who was in Amman for the opening of the training course to witness the skills of the Jordanian volunteers. In their two-week basic training, the future operatives are learning to use technical equipment and being shown what they have to be aware of during a mission if they are to provide safe and effective assistance.

The contents of the training course have been customised by the trainers at the General Directorate of Jordan Civil Defense (JCD), together with the THW operatives, in order to match the circumstances of their country. The schedule includes elements such as mission communication, health and safety, fire protection and first aid. Furthermore, the civil defense trainers are instructing their fellow Jordanian participants in the use of angle grinders and hammer drills to work with metal and stone – as needed, for example, to rescue people buried in rubble.

The Jordanian trainers themselves had previously been taught the special nature of training volunteers during a course given this summer by experienced THW trainers. Visiting several THW local sections in Germany, they were shown how practical and theoretical skills are not the only important aspects: fun, team spirit and motivation are also essential elements.

The training course now starting is part of an ongoing cooperation between JCD and THW. In the future, further training courses for civil defense volunteers are planned throughout Jordan. “The enthusiasm of the first volunteers convinced me the project will develop very well,” said Friedsam optimistically. The long-term aim is to support and promote the sustainable establishment of volunteer-based structures in the country’s civil defense. This project is funded by the German Foreign Office.

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