Refreshed proposal - Emergency=disaster response

I informed all data consumers I know of.

I opened a thread where I propose a mass edit of the “Ortsverbände” (local stations) of the German THW to make them fit the approved proposal.

I also created a MapRoulette challenge to check all objects that got tagged emergency=disaster_response before the proposal was approved. They may be fitting but probably some are not. Feel free to help cleaning them up.

Perhaps this is a useful example of what might or might not fall under this tag in countries not specifically discussed up to now.

I believe the tagged location is part of the national Civil Defense service: FAQs | Civil Defence

Note in particular “Civil Defence operates at national level under the Department of Defence. Services, such as, Medical Response, Search & Rescue and Emergency Response, are delivered locally through Local Authorities. Each Local Authority has a Civil Defence Officer who oversees the organising and recruitment of volunteers. The Civil Defence Officer acts as the link between the volunteer, community, local authority and the organisation nationally”

The tagged object is also tagged as operated by Tipperary County Council which fits with the above reference to local authorities.

Does the fact that most members of Civil Defence are volunteers make a difference? If not, this tagging probably does fit with the intention of the proposal?

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Ah - so I was wrong - it probably is part of a national service, in which case it sounds to me like it does fit** (in which case there are likely many more in Ireland).

** though someone more familiar with the proposal might know better.

I do not have any knowlege about this organisation or the situation in Ireland. On first glance this station could be a match for emergency=disaster_response. Is there anyone who has knowlege about the “Clonmel Civil Defense” or the situation in Ireland in general?

No. Most of the members of the German THW are also volunteers. I think that is often the case for such organisations. But organisations with only paid staff would also fit the tag.

I changed the statuses of amenity=emergency_service, emergency_service=technical and emergency=ses_station to “deprecated” as described in the proposal. I added a possible tagging mistakes section to the wiki page.

Emergency facilitys and amenitys lists emergency=disaster_response, but unfortunatly without information.

Where do I need to add information so that it gets displayed in the table above? The Data-Item page is already updated.


Firefighters on these bases have military status. They only work in the event of a disaster or when the local fire brigade is overwhelmed. They can also be deployed abroad for disasters.
Their status is military, but they are not attached to the Ministry of the Armed Forces but to the Ministry of the Interior, like civilian firefighters. They are not armed, and their vehicles and training are the same as those of civilian firefighters.
In short, they are more firefighters than soldiers.
The key information is here:

Thanks for the explanation. If I get this right the “sécurité civile” has nothing to do with armed forces. So the connection to the military is more theoretical.

From what I have read example things they do are:

  • fire fighting (in big scale like with planes)
  • bomb disposal (e.g. old unexploded ones from WW2)
  • evacuation via helicopter

To me this sounds like a match for emergency=disaster_response.

The connection is not theoretical, but… yes :grin:

Not exactly. They respond to major disasters such as floods, forest fires and earthquakes abroad, and deal with CBRN risks. Mine clearance is managed by another department

I think so too. I added it to the French translation of the tag the apparent contradiction with the definition

That is similar to the German THW.

As meantioned, I do not have knowlege about the Sécurité Civile. But wikipedia disagrees:


I am not sure if it is in contradiction with the definition. In retrospect I think the formulation was not choosen perfect. “non-military” was meant to mean “not doing typical military stuff”. Here we have the situation where the military operates a station that is arguably non-military.

Listing examples like you did in the french translation (by the way, thanks for translating :+1:) was already sugested, but I am not sure if that is a good idea.

I think we neighter had consensus for nor against listing exapmles.

What do others think about …

  1. … the fact that a non-military station operated by the military is tagged with emergency=disaster_response?
  2. … listing explicit examples for the organisations on the wiki page?

I’m not sure about adding specific organizations, but maybe adding a very small description or notation that disaster response may be related to civil protection directly in some countries or in-directly (meaning that the civil protection department itself may be only the administration part of the disaster response).

Are the members of these stations non-military personnel? Just because they are not armed doesn’t stop them from being a solider. I’m not sure how station type makes a difference.

from what can be read, it doesn’t disagree. @gendy54 said “mine clearance” and wikipedia writes about “bomb disposal”, these can be different arguments.

It doesn’t matter whether we’re talking about mine clearance or bomb disposal, it’s not the same unit that deals with that. From memory, deminers have the status of civilian police officers.

It sounds like it’s a civilian agency, but staffed with (some) military personnel? Possibly could be included then.

France also has the Gendarmerie - a military police force that deals with civilian law enforcement. There is a similar confusion when tagging them too. I believe they are traditionally tagged in OSM alongside civilian police, however, there is now some usage of military_service=gendarmerie.

So, in short, I’d suggest keeping the definition as is (i.e., civilian/non-military). But let the French community decide whether Sécurité Civile best fits as a civilian emergency=disaster_response agency or as a military organisation.

France also has the Gendarmerie - a military police force that deals with civilian law enforcement. There is a similar confusion when tagging them too. I believe they are traditionally tagged in OSM alongside civilian police, however, there is now some usage of military_service=gendarmerie.

similarly in Italy there are the Carabinieri which are a military institution and while they are tagged as amenity=police their grounds are tagged as landuse=military

(plus operator=Arma dei Carabinieri)

I would like to give you an update about the current state of emergency=disaster_response:

  • There was minimal use of emergency=disaster_response before the proposal got approved. These should be checked for correctnes. You can find them here:
  • emergency=disaster_response is added to all Ortsverbände (=local stations) of the German THW.
  • I started a discussion in the German forum about how to tag some facilitys of the German THW in general.
    You can find the discussion here:
    Richtige Erfassung von Liegenschaften des Technischen Hilfswerks
  • I started a discussion in the Italian forum about retagging the ca. 200x uses of emergency=ses_station in Italy.
    You can find the discussion here:
    Retagging dell'italiano "Protezione Civile" con emergency=disaster_response
  • emergency=disaster_response is already used 87x in Australia.
  • I started a discussion in the Oceanian forum about retagging the ca. 250x uses of emergency=ses_station in Australia.
    You can find the discussion here:
    Retagging the Australian SES'es with emergency=disaster_response
  • I created a MapRoulette project that aims at cleaning up the tagging of emergency facilitys.
  • I am currently working on a custom JOSM-preset to help with the creation/modification of facilitys of disaster-responding-organisations.

This update is not meant to interrupt the discussion that is sleeping for a week now. I am still interested to hear some opinions about listing explicit examples of organisations in the wiki, as it is currently the case in the french wiki page. As already sayed, I oppose this because such a list can never be complete and not finding an organisation on such a list could lead to the beliving that the facility does not match the tag. The definition at the top of the page is the deciding reference. But that is just my oppinion.