In the framework of the already established twinning partnership between Muhammadiyah Disaster Management Center (MDMC) from Indonesia and I.S.A.R. Germany, a physical workshop was conducted from 25-28 November 2022 in Weeze and Hünxe, Germany.
It was the first time that the two partners were able to meet in person after several cancellations and postponements due to the COVID-19 pandemic. To facilitate the workshop, the team of the EMT National Focal Point (EMT NFP) at RKI organized the visit of five representatives from MDMC, two representatives from MoH Indonesia and one representative from the WHO Country Office Indonesia to Germany, where the guests first observed a three-day exercise with I.S.A.R. participation in Weeze before taking part in a joint logistics workshop in Hünxe (both located in the Lower Rhine region, North Rhine-Westphalia).
At the Training Base Weeze, an exercise took place in the framework of the EU-funded RESCUER project which deals with the development and improvement of technologies for first responders in disaster settings, especially in infrastructure-free environments. For this purpose, the first technical tools, such as a special helmet camera, were tested under the most realistic conditions possible. In addition to the exercise observation, the Indonesian participants were able to visit the Duisburg fire brigade and gain insights into local/general emergency logistics during a tour of the control center.
During a city walk/guided tour through the pilgrimage town of Kevelaer and a visit to St. Mary’s Basilica, the guests from Indonesia were also introduced to a piece of German culture.
On the last day of the visit, a joint logistics workshop of the two partners was conducted at the training site of Bundesverband Rettungshunde e.V. in Hünxe, where also the operational base and the storage of I.S.A.R. Germany are located. The visitors attended the tour of the warehouse, the introduction to the logistical database as well as the presentation of I.S.A.R.’s internal personnel database with great interest. Additionally, supported by various presentations, a mutual exchange of information and experience was achieved, which brought both organizations (I.S.A.R. and MDMC) closer together and promoted the development of common goals as well as the planning of further activities.
Finally, all participants (I.S.A.R., RKI, MDMC, MoH Indonesia, WHO) agreed on the next steps for the future partnership. After drawing up a MoU (memorandum of understanding), which has to be signed by all parties, further joint practical and logistical trainings and exercises are planned both in Germany and Indonesia. Likewise, the continuous exchange of experiences and, if necessary, advisory and technical support within the classification process are intended to promote and strengthen bilateral cooperation.
In summary, the twinning workshop was a successful start for a long-term partnership. Getting to know the different parties personally was an important step in building trust and enabled an intensive exchange between all participants. The already existing interest in international cooperation was deepened and the willingness to grow through mutual learning was intensified. Both the colleagues from Indonesia and the representatives of I.S.A.R. Germany and the RKI benefited from the activities of the workshop and laid the first foundation for a successful twinning partnership.
Date: December 2022