Does help in accidents, fires and medical emergencies in Germany come quickly enough? What has to happen so that the helpers no longer work at the limit? A new “alliance for rescue services” wants to turn to politicians this Monday in Berlin with demands.

“Emergency rescue in Germany is at risk – the rescue service must be fundamentally reformed,” the alliance said. The rescue service, for example, suffers from overworked staff. Among the members of the alliance are the German Fire Service Union, the German Society for Rescue Sciences and the Control Centers Association.

A fatal bus accident in Berlin over the weekend highlighted the situation of the emergency services. On Sunday, a few dozen firefighters protested in front of the Rotes Rathaus for better working conditions. The Berlin fire brigade is struggling with constantly increasing numbers of operations, a lack of staff and a growing burden on each individual colleague, said the chairman of the “BerlinBrennt” initiative, Erik Herbote. The result is an increase in sick leave, which exacerbates the problem. The rescue service, which is constantly in a state of emergency, is particularly affected.

The protest action took place one day after the serious bus accident in which a young pedestrian was killed in the Lankwitz district of Berlin. The first car was an ambulance nine minutes after the emergency call on site, the first two ambulances only after 20 minutes, according to the fire department. Her spokesman Thomas Kirstein called for rapid improvements in the rescue service from politicians.

Two teenagers get under the bus

On Saturday evening, the double-decker bus hit two young people who, according to initial police investigations, ran across the street at a pedestrian traffic light when it was red. Both got under the heavy-duty bus, were trapped there and could only be recovered in the course of a large-scale operation using special technology. According to the police, a 15-year-old died at the scene of the accident, and her 14-year-old companion was taken to hospital with serious injuries.

According to fire department spokesman Kirstein, not a single ambulance was available in Berlin at the time the emergency call was made. Theoretically, there should be around 140 cars on average in the city, but in practice this number is no longer reached. When ambulances were available again a short time later, the control center sent several to the scene of the accident. Berlin’s Interior Senator Iris Spranger (SPD) promised again on Sunday to improve the situation.