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Overloaded rescue service: steering group reviews structures

Feuerwehrfahrzeug im Einsatz

In view of the overload of the Berlin fire department's rescue service, Senator for the Interior Iris Spranger (SPD) is having the structures reviewed.

"We have established a steering group," the senator announced on Wednesday. The four-member team is "once again turning over every stone," Spranger said. Structural changes are necessary for a permanent relief of the rescue service. "It is now a matter of continuing to guarantee the operational capability of the fire department," Spranger explained.

Ensuring emergency medical care for the population

At the same time, medical care for people in an emergency would have to be ensured. For this reason, the Senate Department for the Interior is also in discussion with the Health Department. The exchange with trade unions and the personnel council of the fire department should also be more intensive than before, it said.

Reduction of deployments due to minor cases

The focus here is on reducing the number of deployments for minor cases. To achieve this, the criteria according to which an ambulance is deployed must be adapted. There are also plans to amend the Berlin Rescue Services Act. At a staff meeting of the fire department just over a week ago, State Secretary of the Interior Thorsten Akmann promised that this would be done quickly. In addition, the networking of hospitals and rescue services is to be improved so that ambulances are not turned away from clinics and thus occupied longer than necessary. The involvement of private providers is also being examined.

Emergency state already declared 180 times this year

Theoretically, the Berlin Fire Department says it has about 140 emergency service vehicles in operation during the day and about 100 at night. In practice, however, there are often far fewer due to a lack of personnel. For this reason, the fire department has already had to declare a state of emergency for rescue services about 180 times this year.

Author: dpa/
Publication date: 21 July 2022
Last updated: 21 July 2022

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