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Berlin to Improve its Ambulance Service

On the streets of Berlin, ambulances race back and forth all the time. But there are issues. More ambulances and medics are needed, and the rescue system needs to become more effective. New plans are supposed to improve the situation.

Berlin, June 30th, 2022 (The Berlin Spectator) — In Berlin, having conversations on the street can be a challenge, because every few minutes an ambulance with a loud siren drives by. In a city with 3.8 million inhabitants, this is not surprising. People suffer heart attacks and strokes and they have other life-threatening conditions all the time. They also sustain injuries in accidents or attacks.

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Real Emergencies

Ambulances are sent out to save lives. Individuals who sneeze, Berliners with foot fungus or persons with other harmless issues do not need them, even if they cannot reach their doctor immediately. As it turns out, too many residents call ambulances when their symptoms are not life-threatening. This is one of the problems Berlin’s Senate Administration of the Interior and the Fire Department intend to resolve.

Berlin needs more ambulances. Photo: Imanuel Marcus

They will launch a campaign in which they plan to call on Berliners to use the emergency telephone number 112 more conscientiously than they do now. It is reserved for real emergencies, for patients in severe condition, and those who are helping them. For cases that are not life-threatening or less alarming, there is the emergency service phone number 116117.

Digital Intercommunication

A lot more will be done. According to a press statement by the Senate Administration of the Interior, the Fire Department and partner organizations will receive five more ambulances with medics until the end of the year. As soon as tomorrow, on July 1st, 2022, the Arbeiter-Samariter-Bund is supposed to be provided with the first one. An optimization of the Fire Department’s plan of action is another step that will be taken. Medics who work in the administration right now are supposed to return to the ambulance service, al least temporarily.

There is another issue: Cases in which hospitals refuse to accept patients who arrive in ambulances, for whatever reason, prolong the time emergency vehicles are occupied by one patient. For that reason, an improvement of the digital intercommunication between the emergency services and the hospitals is on the list. On top of it all, 19 more ambulances are needed in Berlin. The Senate is working on this issue as well.

Quick Implementation

“For people in emergencies, the rescue service is their lifeline”, Berlin’s Interior Senator Iris Spranger stated. Improving the situation was a big task. A task force set up for this purpose would work on implementing the improvements quickly and continue its talks with everyone involved. In the meantime, more new medics are supposed to be trained. This year, the number of trainees will increase to 150 from 24 in 2021.

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