Broad support for ASB rescue station in Sandhofen

Civic association speaks out in favor of new location

"We are 100 percent behind the new rescue station; for the people in the north of Mannheim, this means significantly more safety," says Wolfgang Steinmann, deputy chairman of the Sandhofen Citizens' Association. The citizens' association had invited to an information event on June 23. According to Steinmann, the non-partisan and independent umbrella organization for associations looks after the interests of the citizens in Sandhofen. Around 18,000 people live in the Mannheim district. "In terms of area, we are the largest district," Steinmann says, making it all the more important to provide a good and safe service. The districts of Sandhofen, Schönau, Blumenau, Scharhof and Kirschgartshausen would benefit most from the new station. "The rescue system for the northern districts will be significantly optimized," says Hendrik Maier, head of the ASB rescue service.

Discussions about the Sandhofen site

A new rescue station in this district had initially been discussed by the city of Mannheim. The divisional committee already decided on the new station in July last year. The legal supervisory authority of the City of Mannheim then lodged an objection to the procedure in January 2021. At a meeting on May 11, the divisional committee then again voted unanimously in favor of the new rescue station in Sandhofen. The decision-making body decides, among other things, on the locations of the rescue stations in Mannheim. The committee has 14 voting members from cost and service providers, including health insurance companies and the ASB, DRK, Johanniter and Malteser associations. The City of Mannheim supports the technical work of the divisional committee in an advisory capacity and also has legal supervision of the committee. With the renewed resolution, the vehicle can now be relocated; however, the outcome of the proceedings on the admissibility of the circular resolution from July 2020 is still open - this is currently still pending at the Karlsruhe Regional Council.

Dispute over the transfer of an ambulance

The dispute between the city and the divisional committee centers on the question of whether one of the four ASB emergency vehicles will be moved from the Käfertal site to the new station. This is the decision of the area committee. The fears of the city that then possibly other Mannheim districts could be less well supplied are not comprehensible, so Maier. The area committee agreed that the DRK and Malteser would be relieved by the new station and could therefore be on site more quickly at other locations, Maier continued. Future settlements in Franklin and other Mannheim districts will be closely monitored by the experts of the divisional committee and additional vehicles will be made available if necessary.

Fear of too much bureaucracy

At the information event, it was precisely this point that caused fears that this could prevent the planned rapid commissioning of the rescue station. On the part of the city, a further examination of an independent expert was held out in this regard. "We know what that means then, the auditor checks and as long as the rescue station in Sandhofen remains empty," says Wolfgang Steinmann. Voices were also raised from the audience who fear too much bureaucracy. "The inspection will then take years again and nothing will happen for that long," said a resident, "that's a fool's errand.

Planned commissioning on July 1, 2021

The ASB Mannheim/Rhine-Neckar Region will start operating the new rescue station in the Sandhofen district of Mannheim on July 1 as planned. The construction work is as good as complete, and more furniture will be delivered in the coming days. "From this we expect a much better service for the citizens in the north of Mannheim," says Joachim Schmid, managing director of ASB Mannheim/Rhine-Neckar Region. For the new station, one of a total of four ambulances will be relocated from the Käfertal site to Sandhofen. In total, ASB Mannheim/Rhine-Neckar Region will then operate four rescue stations in Mannheim, Heidelberg and Hirschberg. The new rescue station will be financed by the health insurance funds. fek