"Letzte Generation" (Last Generation) activists block a highway under the slogan "Let's stop the fossil madness!" for an end to fossil fuels and against oil drilling in the North Sea, in Berlin, Germany July 4, 2022. REUTERS/Christian Mang TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY

The climate activists of the group “Last Generation” did not want to impede ambulances with their road blockades. In their action consensus it says: “We let ambulances through. We make sure that we can always form an emergency lane.” But in fact, ambulances were repeatedly obstructed during the blockades in Berlin. At the beginning of June, for example, an ambulance with a patient had to turn around and find another way.

During the three weeks of the blockade in June and July, when roads and motorways were always blocked on weekdays, ambulances were obstructed a total of eight times. This emerges from a response from Berlin’s Interior Secretary Torsten Akmann (SPD) to a request from FDP parliamentary group leader Sebastian Czaja. There were emergencies in which the ambulances were “blocked” on the way to operations or with patients to hospitals, despite the flashing blue lights. The rescuers could not “reach the scene in time”.

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It cannot be ruled out that other ambulances were too slow because “reporting alarm or arrival delays” is not mandatory for the driver. In addition, the blockades “affected the progress of all rescue equipment, even on the roads not directly affected” from such delays “often are not reported”.

It is not statistically recorded how many ambulances arrive late at the hospital due to blockages and how this has affected the health of the patients.

In six of the eight reported cases, a “delayed arrival” is noted in the balance sheet, in two cases – because the vehicles were stuck in traffic – other ambulances had to be alerted. In all cases, the police check whether investigations are to be initiated.

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“Protest ends at the latest when it endangers human life, because at the latest then protesters become criminals,” said FDP parliamentary group leader Sebastian Czaja. It is now clear that ambulances are “massively restricted in their work due to blockades, which leads to danger to the life and limb of individual people”.

He couldn’t understand why the Senate acted as if it were “harmless pranks by lost young people,” said Czaja. The personnel costs of the police would have to be charged to the blockers. “On the other hand, criminal proceedings must be accelerated so that repeat offenders can be effectively stopped.”