Wednesday 15 September 2021

Fire brigade to sell beer and hot dogs to onlookers at accident sites

Cologne (dpo) - It is a familiar problem for rescue teams – time and again, rubberneckers get in the way of rescue and clearance work, especially on roads. Now, the Cologne Fire Brigade has developed a new plan to keep onlookers busy and supplement their budget at the same time: in future, beer and hot dogs are to be sold at all accident sites.

“We have tried everything possible to keep rubberneckers and gawkers away from accidents sites”, explains Fire Chief Horst Röhl. Firefighters have appealed to the public conscience, reported gawkers to the police or even set up protective screens. “We have now had to accept that this just is not working. Instead, we will make the best of the situation.” As soon as there is a severe accident with great potential to create a stir, the fire service will now send out a street food van with specially trained personnel.
Members of the public can then watch the action unfold in a ‘viewing zone’ especially designed for this purpose and have a bite to eat and drink at the same time. After all, “most of them have their mouths wide open anyway”, reports Röhl, “and if you have a hot dog in one hand and a bottle of beer in the other, you don’t have any spare hands to shove anyone or to hinder the paramedics.”
At the accident site, viewers are offered a full service to deter them from interfering behaviour. While they are enjoying their cold beer and hot dog, a firefighter with a megaphone narrates the action with all the gory details they would otherwise miss out on due to the distance.
A narration could sound something like this: “The woman is already dead so we are cutting the man out of the wreckage first. Now the poor guy is asking how his wife is. Oh, and I have just received some bad news: we have run out of mustard; there is now only ketchup available.”
After the accident site has been cleared, official photographs will be sold, capturing the victims’ injuries and dying moments. Commemorative badges will also be on sale (“I was there - severe accident on the A3. Two dead and three severely injured.”).
All proceeds will go to fund youth work and better equipment.
ssi, dan; idea: tel; pictures [M]: Shutterstock; first published 2017-06-29
Read the German version HERE.
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