2021-10-22

KION Commits Forklift Trucks, Donations, and People to Flood Relief Effort

Exactly 100 days have passed since the devastating flooding in various parts of Germany. The flooding brought severe destruction as well as grief and suffering among those affected, but also saw an outpouring of help and support from fellow human beings. The KION Group, its operating units, and countless colleagues were among those contributing to the rebuilding efforts.

A Million Euros Donated to the German Red Cross

In light of the great need immediately following the disaster, financial assistance for emergency personnel was the fastest and most effective way to provide immediate help on the ground. With this in mind, the KION Group quickly decided to donate a million euros to the German Red Cross (Deutsche Rote Kreuz—DRK). Emergency aid was provided across Germany in the form of rescue, treatment, and accommodation for those in need. But over and above donating money, KION and the Operating Units also worked in tandem with the DRK to provide fast and unconditional support.

Forklift Truck Donations Help Get the Job Done

One important aspect of the assistance given was providing concrete practical support in the form of suitable equipment. Forklifts and other industrial trucks from Linde MH and STILL were provided to help with the cleanup operations, load aid supplies, and keep the supply processes operating around the clock. For instance, a Linde heavy-duty forklift truck was used by the DRK in Koblenz to transport bulky material like generators, while an electric high lift pallet truck from STILL provided much needed support for the DRK local association in Bad Neuenahr-Ahrweiler, helping to load and unload trucks. Here, too, coordination from the German Red Cross ensured that the aid arrived exactly where it was most needed. One particularly delicate assignment came at a medium-sized enterprise, which had hazardous materials stored in a warehouse and production facilities which had been completely destroyed by the flood water. Linde Material Handling swiftly sent a special explosion-proof forklift to the site, which was then used to help with the clean-up work.

Active Support Provided at Supplier Falkenroth

The fast and unconditional support provided by STILL’s employees at its supplier Falkenroth Umformtechnik GmbH demonstrated that KION’s corporate value of collaboration is not just something the company abides by internally. Falkenroth’s production facilities in Schalksmühle, North Rhine-Westphalia were badly affected by the flooding. STILL reacted quickly, sending a team of electricians from Hamburg. The experts replaced the, in parts severely damaged, switchgear that our supplier needed to keep its operations running, literally forging even stronger ties between the partners.

Many Colleagues Show Courageous Commitment

Alongside the donation of a million euros mentioned above, KION also released employees who worked as volunteers for various aid organizations in the area affected by the crisis. Below, we introduce three of these courageous colleagues as representatives of the many who made an invaluable contribution to the aid effort: David Kaboth, Patrick Ralf, and Bernd Kurz from Dematic Central Europe.

Thanks to his experience with the Johanniter rescue service, Junior Trainer David Kaboth was able to treat minor injuries sustained by residents of Ahrweiler, many of whom wanted to continue helping on the ground rather than wasting valuable time at the hospital. Site IT specialist Patrick Ralf also helped out in three separate assignments in the affected area: One project he helped with involved building a bridge in Bad Neuenahr to restore access to areas that had been cut off. Service technician Bernd Kurz took part in a particularly moving rescue as part of the Technische Hilfswerk (THW) rescue team, helping to save a wedding photo of an 84-year-old lady, who had only recently lost her husband, from the ruins.

Unprecedented Overtime Donation

But it doesn’t stop there: Colleagues from STILL and Linde Material Handling donated a huge amount of time credit, once again proving their immense willingness to help. By converting their overtime hours into donations, they showed true solidarity towards the victims of the flooding. The impressive sum, just recently donated to the German Red Cross, amounts to a total of 284,003.40 euros. We are both proud and delighted to have seen just how eager our colleagues were to help. The past 100 days have shown just how much can be achieved when we work together.

KION Americas: Similar yet different

Trainees for 2021 Start Work