Austrian Red Cross

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Emblen of the Austrian Red Cross in Innsbruck

The Austrian Red Cross (Österreichisches Rotes Kreuz, ÖRK) is the national Red Cross-Organization in Austria and is part of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement. It was established on March 14, 1880 by Doctor Adam Lichtenheld of the Vienna General Hospital and is the biggest aid agency in the country.


Its duties contain:

  • Emergency medical services and transport services, apart from other NPOs (such as the Arbeiter-Samariter-Bund)
  • Blood-donation-service - 95% of the donated blood is provided by the Red Cross
  • Social- and healthcare programs
  • Development Cooperation, Rehabilitation and Emergency Aid
  • Educational service (first aid courses)
  • International Tracing Service - After WWII and nowadays after big disasters.
  • Supervision of international humanitarian law

Most employees are volunteers, in the year 2004 45.000 were counted.

Presidents of the ÖRK

  • Karl Baron of Tinti (1880–1884)
  • Franz Earl Falkenhayn (1885–1898)
  • Prince Alois von Schönburg-Hartenstein (1899–1913)
  • Rudolf Earl of Abensperg-Traun (1913–1919)
  • Dr. Max Vladimir Eck (1919–1938)
  • Dr. Adolf Pilz (1945)
  • Karl Seitz (1946–1950)
  • Univ.-Prof. Dr. Burghard Breitner (1950–1956)
  • DDr.h.c. Hans Lauda (1956–1974)
  • Dr. Heinrich Treichl (1974–1999)
  • Fredy Mayer (1999-2013)
  • Univ.-Prof. DDr. Gerald Schöpfer (since 2013)

National Organisation

The organisation persists of 9 subordinate national organisations, all are their own entities but are bound to the basic principles of the Austrian Red Cross. This has historical reasons, the national organisation originated out of many small, local aid organisations.

These consist of totally 142 district offices and 956 local offices.

External links