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Technisches Hilfswerk (THW)
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Managed By: Icon Here THW-Group
The tasks of the THW are:

* technical relief in Germany as part of national civil protection measures
* technical or humanitarian relief in foreign countries, as assigned by the government
* technical and logistical relief for other (German) GOs, NGOs or other authorities like fire brigades, police or the custom authorities.
Expanded Description:
The THW is stationed all over Germany in 669 local sections, called Ortsverbände. Some 80,000 people are active in this organisation. The majority of those are volunteers, while about 800 work full-time in its administration. Each local section (Ortsverband) maintains one or more Technische Züge (technical platoons), each consisting of one Zugtrupp (command squad), comprising four volunteers, two Bergungsgruppen (rescue units) comprising nine (first unit) to twelve (second unit) volunteers, and one to three Fachgruppen (Technical Units), comprising four to eighteen volunteers.

The main type of THW unit (about two out of three) is one of two Bergungsgruppe (1st and 2nd Rescue Groups), equipped with heavy tools like hydraulic cutting devices, chain saws, and pneumatic hammers. Their Vehicles are the Gerätekraftwagen 1 (GKW 1) for the 1st Rescue Group and the Mehrzweckkraftwagen (MZKW) or the older Gerätekraftwagen 2 (GKW 2) - which is scheduled to phased out - is for the 2nd Rescue Group.

The Fachgruppen (Technical Units) include:

* Infrastruktur (Infrastructure),
* Räumen (Debris Clearance),
* Sprengen (Demolition/Blasting),
* Elektroversorgung (Electricity Supply),
* Beleuchtung (Illumination),
* Wasserschaden / Pumpen (Water Damage / Pumps),
* Wassergefahren (Water Hazards),
* Logistik (Logistics),
* Ölschaden (Oil Pollution),
* Trinkwasserversorgung (Water Supply and Treatment),
* Führung und Kommunikation (Command, Control and Communication), and
* Ortung (Search and Detection).

For relief in foreign countries, there are four Schnelleinsatzeinheiten Bergung Ausland or SEEBA (Rapid Deployment Unit Search and Rescue Abroad) units, able to go airborne within six hours, and five Schnelleinsatzeinheiten Wasserversorgung Ausland or SEEWA (Rapid Deployment Unit Water Supply and Treatment Abroad) units.

In Germany, military service is mandatory for adult males. Instead of joining the military for nine months full-time, one of the alternatives is to join a non-combatant volunteer organisation of the German Katastrophenschutz (disaster relief) or Zivilschutz (civil defense) for a minimum of six years (this is calculated so that although serving far less time every week, in the end the number of served hours is about the same). The THW is one of those organisations, as well as volunteer fire brigades and various organisations engaged in emergency medical service.
Instructions for Posting a Technisches Hilfswerk (THW) Waymark:
Post a picture of the building and -if possible- of the trucks and cars.
Instructions for Visiting a Waymark in this Category:
Post a picture of you and/or your GPSr with the building in the background
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