Official figures for attacks on emergency services are not yet available for this year – but at least the Bavarian Red Cross (BRK) and the Johanniter in the Free State are reporting a noticeable decrease. The internal statistics list fewer cases than in the two previous years, said BRK spokesman Sohrab Taheri-Sohi of the German Press Agency. “This is certainly also due to the feedback morale. Basically, in 2022 there was also a perceived decrease in acts of aggression towards the rescue service personnel.”
However, there were situations in which the helpers were attacked – often they were related to protective measures against the corona virus. There were stupid sayings and insults when rescue workers were deployed with masks, although there was no longer a legal obligation to wear them. On the other hand, people avoided the helpers – the employees were apparently avoided as a particularly high “risk of infection”, said Taheri-Sohi. “That does something to the people.”
According to the memories of the two association spokesmen, the most serious attack was in Neumarkt in early 2022, where a man attacked two paramedics with a machete and threw their equipment out the window. As is usually the case in such cases, alcohol and drugs were involved. In addition, it is often the case that the attacks are not aimed at the rescue service itself, Taheri-Sohi reported. “Because we wear uniforms, we are attributed to a state institution.” Therefore, resentment and dissatisfaction with the state are also vented to the paramedics.
How many emergency services were also attacked by the police and fire brigade in 2022 will not be officially evaluated until the middle of next year. “There’s always verbal abuse, that’s everyday life,” said Carolin Mauz of the Johanniter. Complaints about physical attacks, however, which had occurred sporadically in previous years, were not received this year. “Maybe that has something to do with luck,” said Mauz.
At the same time, she reported that the volunteers in the medical services at major events had received an unusual amount of gratitude. “All in all, the view of the rescue service and the people in the healthcare system has changed much more positively due to Corona,” Taheri-Sohi also described. “This is certainly due to the fact that it was suddenly more present in public opinion than ever what these people achieve, and also under what conditions, under what overload they do it. That has had an effect on the appreciation.” In any case, nobody used to give cakes to paramedics with the words: “Thank you for being there for us and for doing it.”