JOIN Volunteer Swap at the 41st BMW Berlin Marathon

Berlin, 01. October 2014

Teams from JOIN members in Austria, England, Poland, a total of 39 volunteers, supported German Johanniter volunteers in providing first aid coverage on both days of this international event with a total of 390 volunteers. The exchange was organised by the JOIN Volunteer Swap programme.

On Sunday, the day of the main race, there were 365 volunteers.  They staffed 16 help points along the route as well as 9 in the finish area in order to look after the 40,000 runners as well as more than a million spectators who were present along the course. Ten emergency ambulances, two emergency medical service vehicles, 15 patient transport ambulances, ten motorcycles and two bicycles were present. There were also two Maltese ambulances supporting the event. In addition, there were two Johanniter field kitchens next to the course, providing the runners with much-needed water and tea.


On the Saturday, the mini-marathon and the skaters’ marathon were held. JOIN members’ services were required in 211 incidents and eight patients had to be transported to hospital. They were also needed on Sunday during the main marathon event, when they assisted 763 people and transported 37 people to nearby hospitals.

In addition to the two major events, St John volunteers worked at five more events connected to the Berlin Marathon. These included: Berlin Vital Expo at Tempelhof airport on 26th-28th September, the Organiser’s "Get-Together" on the Friday evening, the Breakfast Run on Saturday morning, and the closing parties for the skaters on Saturday and for the runners on Sunday.

Dirk Dommisch, the head of Johanniter at the Berlin Marathon summed up the event at the final press conference on 29 September: "This year, the medical service worked harmoniously, many helpers have been coming for years and they know the special requirements of the Berlin Marathon.  Experience can be shared and friendships arose between St John members and the helpers from the Marathon organisers.” Jürgen Lock, CEO of SCC and organiser of the Berlin Marathon, confirmed this, “This was a high quality event - by all parties.”

The Berlin Johanniter branch was supported this year by 258 other German Johanniter members from all over the country. In addition, there were also 30 members from the Polish St John organisation Joannici, seven from Johanniter in Austria and two volunteers from St John Ambulance in England.

The marathon weekend of 27 to 28th September had excellent weather with a cloudless sky, plenty of sunshine and warm late autumn temperatures. It was perfect for runners and supporters. Five records were set, including a new world record for the marathon by Kenyan Dennis Kimetto.

German Johanniter volunteers at the Berlin Marathon.
Volunteer from the English St John's Ambulance.
German Johanniter and Polish Joannici volunteers at the Brandenberg Gate.

Pictures by Johanniter Germany