This year´s “Johanniter Day” (or “Tag der Johanniter” in German) was a combination of multiple events. It was an international exhibition, a first aid competition and a family event all at once. Since 1992 the Johanniter Day hosts a bi-annual national competition in first aid, which brings together the entire St John family, including both volunteers and staff. This year´s events were organized by the regional Johanniter association of Aachen, Düren and Heinsberg. The celebrations were conducted under the leadership of Mayor of Aachen, Marcel Philipp.
1,500 Johanniter members from across North-Rhine Westphalia and even visiting teams from England, Northern Ireland and Poland were present in Aachen. Various scenarios, including severe burns, children with head injuries and unconscious people after a fall, were presented in realistic accident scenarios to test skills in first aid. The scenarios were acted out by “victims”. Moreover, a total of 41 teams from all over North Rhine-Westphalia as well as from England, Northern Ireland and Poland competed in the Johanniter Day’s first aid competition. The aim was to see how the competitors managed to cope with critical situations as first responders and to identify the best lifesavers. “All participants are winners on that day,” Hans von Tiesenhausen said, “because they have shown how well they can save lives.”
All teams competed publicly by demonstrating their first aid knowledge and skills in the city center. Their skills were assessed by referees according to a fixed point system. Winners were announced during an evening event held in Eurogress, and they will participate in the 2017 Federal Competition in Koblenz.
Overall, 1,500 Johanniter volunteers and staff members helped make this day memorable. Either through their help as assistants, referees or spectators. Through their enthusiasm, they managed to turn the city center into an actual competition arena. Referees gathered at the different competition stations around the Aachen cathedral, where the opening service was held that morning. The referees judged the work of rescue workers aged six to sixty.
Parallel to the competition, the Johanniter provided information about their wide range of volunteer activities to the people of Aachen. You will find more information (in German) and pictures on the Johanniter Day on this link.