On 25th and 26th September, Berlin hosted its annual marathon and biggest sporting event after last years’ break due to COVID-19. With almost 400 helpers from all over Germany and Austria, Johanniter ensured the safety of over 25.000 runners along the 42.195 km course. All participants, whether on the running course or in the spectator area, could rely on receiving immediate help in case of a health problem. Since the skater marathon was also organised alongside the runner marathon, the operation lasted the entire weekend.

“I am very grateful to all staff members for their commitment to making the marathon such a success,” explained Jörg Koch, Regional Director of Johanniter Berlin. Johanniter was supported by other aid organisations. “We have shown that we are reliable partners when it comes to securing major events,” said Koch. Since the relaxation of the COVID-19 restrictions, this was the largest deployment of the Berliner Johanniter in the context of medical services.

In the start and finish area, a medical centre staffed by doctors was ready to take care of the runners. Furthermore, Johanniter was on site with eleven stationary emergency aid stations. In addition, 17 mobile emergency aid stations and 18 ambulance squads secured the course. In order to intervene quickly, a motorbike and a bicycle squad were also deployed. In case of medical emergencies, the helpers were able to initiate qualified first aid measures immediately and, if necessary, take over patient care until the arrival of the emergency rescue service.

The volunteers engaged in the medical service were as diverse as the marathon itself. Johanniter volunteers came from Berlin, Baden-Württemberg, Bavaria, Brandenburg, Hamburg, Hesse, Lower Saxony, North Rhine-Westphalia, Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt and Thuringia. “We were particularly pleased to have the support of European colleagues again this year,” explained Regional Director Koch. For example, the Austrian Johanniter were also on duty, operating one of the assistance centres.

After a successful large-scale operation: Johanniter volunteers from Berlin, Düsseldorf and Austria, who jointly looked after the medical centre in the start and finish area. (Picture by Johanniter-Unfall-Hilfe e.V.)