A little over 20 years ago, a small number of highly respected and internationally known scientists and experts in prehospital and in-hospital emergency and disaster medicine met under the chairmanship of Professor Peter Safar and the late Professor Rudolf Frey to found the Club of Mainz, with the aim of creating an association comparable to the renowned Club of Rome.
The goals of the new club were primarily to foster and improve disaster medicine worldwide and to better prepare for future natural and manmade disasters. After little more than 20 years, the former Club of Mainz, later renamed the World Association for Disaster and Emergency Medicine (WADEM) celebrates its 20th anniversary and, at the same time, organizes the 10th World Congress on Emergency and Disaster Medicine. Over the past 10 years, the Congress has been held throughout the world, first in Mainz and later, e.g., Pittsburgh, London, Rio de Janeiro, Hong Kong, Stockholm, Jerusalem, to return in 1997 to its place of origin.
To celebrate these events, the Congress program consists of three Plenary Sessions dedicated to aspects that already were of concern 20 years ago to assess the developments and progress made during that period of time.