Iris Spranger, designierte Innensenatorin, bei der Vorstellung der zukünftigen Senatoren der SPD. +++ dpa-Bildfunk +++

Interior Senator Iris Spranger (SPD) has announced further improvements in the fire service’s rescue service. In a speech at the regular staff meeting of the Berlin fire brigade, Spranger announced that employees would receive an allowance in the future. This should be “an answer to the current burdens in the rescue service,” said Spranger. “I envision the allowance being paid per reportable alert.”

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She wants to work with Senator for Finance Daniel Wesener (Greens) to finance this allowance. “This project will not be easy to implement, but I will fight for you and for your achievements to be recognized,” said Spranger.

In addition, the so-called deployment codes, which determine when an ambulance is dispatched, are to be further adjusted. “The last code reviews resulted in initial adjustments that are far from enough for me,” said Spranger.

It was recently decided that an ambulance would no longer be called in the event of a mosquito bite without symptoms. From today, this also applies to non-specific abdominal pain. Those affected should contact the Association of Statutory Health Insurance Physicians in these cases. According to Spranger, the latter affects 7,000 to 8,000 cases a year.

The rescue service in Berlin has been overloaded for months. A state of emergency is declared almost every day because there are not enough ambulances or staff available. “Your emergency call reached me – that’s also why I’m here today,” said Spranger to the assembled firefighters in the Audimax of Freie Universität.

However, the current situation cannot be remedied by a single measure. Spranger recently set up a steering group in her administration to develop short- and medium-term measures to relieve the rescue service.

Praise for Spranger’s remarks came from the German Fire Brigade Union (DFeuG). “The Senator’s words were unequivocal and refreshingly sharp. The announced changes to the code review process finally take into account our long-standing demand that colleagues from the rescue service take criticism of the operational codes seriously,” says Lars Wieg, Chairman of the DFeuG Berlin-Brandenburg.

“After the senator’s explanations, we not only have the feeling that she is serious, you could see that she knew what she was talking about,” says Wieg. “That gives hope. The currency to be counted will nevertheless be the measurable success of the planned and announced measures.”

Spranger meanwhile criticized the management of the Berlin fire brigade. “In the current situation of the rescue service, the help of all employees is required,” says Spranger. This also includes the fact that trained emergency and paramedics, who are currently taking on managerial tasks, take on appropriate shifts.

A first internal query about this was sobering. “Every shift taken over counts,” said Spranger. “This also expressly applies to managers. I expect you to set a good example here.”

Spranger also announced that the training of the fire brigade would be strengthened. In addition to the previously communicated goal of hiring 500 new firefighters per year in the future, the Interior Senator announced that the fire brigade at Tegel Airport should have its own location for training for the first time. In the medium term, a project should also provide relief in which the support of video calls during operations is being tested.