ICL’s vision of creating an impact for a better and sustainable future means we put much time and effort into developing ties with the local communities we operate within, sharing the variety of human and technical resources available to us. Volunteer work has become integral to our activities everywhere in the world. It is our way of creating direct and personal contact with members of local communities, strengthening those communities, and empowering our employees to take action, get involved, follow their hearts and help anyone in need. The consistent volunteering of our employees results in a lasting impact for the many they have been able to help over the years, as well as for themselves. Many ICL employees find that volunteer work increases their general well-being so much that they become long-term volunteers.
We love sharing the many inspirational stories of dedicated ICL volunteers, and they willingly share their different, exciting experiences. One such story is the recent account of Heiko Deutschmann, Educational Trainer Electrical Engineering, who has been a part of the Frankenthal Volunteer Fire Brigade since 2016. Heiko had his first relief mission on July 17 in Mayschoss, a district of Ahrweiler Rhineland Palatinate, the area hit hardest by the disastrous flooding which had occurred a day earlier.
The consequences of the flood sweeping through such a vast area were devastating. Entire towns were buried under debris, infrastructure collapsed, large residential and agricultural areas were turned into mud-brown lakes. Because the main road no longer existed – torn away by the rushing water – the fire engines had to make their way through the forest to get to the village. Heiko and his troop tackled the places where help was needed.
Heiko’s second assignment took him and BKG trainee Michael Pohland (electronics technician) to Mayschoss again on July 27. Loaded with many useful items – shovels, gloves, safety shoes and glasses, extension cables (put together by colleague Noel Menningen in Ladenburg), they braved the treacherous and alien landscape of the disaster area, the giant muddy sinkholes and mountains of debris swept against hills and houses.
On July 28-30, Heiko was once again on duty with the fire brigade in Dernau, pumping 70,000 liters of heating oil from the tanks of local houses. “I will always remember the good feeling of being able to help, but also the description of a 93-year-old survivor for whom conditions were worse than during the war,” says Heiko, summarizing his impressions.
Residents of the area are going through an indescribable ordeal, the elderly and children among them, and people like Heiko must have the means, the time, and tools to volunteer and help those who need it most.