Technology and technical equipment began to fascinate me already really early. Growing up
in the generation “Commodore 64” I actually had no other choice. But it wasn’t a bad choice
at all! Nowadays I realize that it shaped me more than expected.
In 1999 the emergency services joined my life. During an alternative service (instead of
army) I got qualified as an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT). I kept up working in that
field during my studies (communication science / area science) and was able to combine
both professions after getting my degree: I started to work in the Netherlands on several
projects that were funded by the European Union and dealt with the optimization of the
cross-border collaboration during disasters and major incidents. Beside juridical and financial
aspects the communication between the German and Dutch emergency services was as
crucial as giving the best possible medical treatment to the patient. Emergency care without
borders stood central. The same was considered for the crisis management of the local
authorities. During the last project I got into contact with EENA, became a member and met
a lot of people that are positive about living the European thought and always trying to get
the most out of public safety and emergency medical treatment. During these days I still was
active in the EMT field although I was only available for shifts that took place during the
Using Social Media channels actively for information and research on disaster response
topics since a while I realized that it could mean even more to the crisis management. After
the European floods in 2013 it was only a question of time that Social Media content
becomes more and more important for disaster response in Germany. Indeed it didn’t take a
long time meeting experts with the same interests and the idea of setting up a German
Virtual Operations Support Team was born. After plans were made and have been put into
writing we got into contact with the THW (German Federal Agency for Technical Relief)
which was eagerly interested to provide such an operational unit for prospective missions.
After a pilot project VOST Germany has become an official part and task force of the THW.
With my background as a Rescue Service Organisational Commander I am the team leader
of VOST Germany’s Collaboration & Crowdsourcing subunit which takes over the networking
and connective tasks of our team. In summer 2017 I have been asked to become the
German Liaison Officer in VOST Europe which forms the umbrella organisation for all
European VOSTs and is closely connected to the European Emergency Number
Association. Together we form a strong multilingual European team which supports national
VOSTs and public authorities during crises or special situations. Not with a Commodore
64… but still remembering our roots!