How can I help in an emergency?

If you see an emergency, it is critical to help immediately. Secure the location and make sure there is no danger to you or others. Then call 110 or 112. If there are injuries, give first aid. Even simple measures can save lives. Staff at the emergency call centre will provide you with precise instructions on what to do.

Do I have to help in an emergency?

Yes. If you see an emergency and do not help, you are liable for prosecution for failure to provide help as specified in section 323c of the Criminal Code.

You may be punished with a fine or even a prison sentence. However, this only applies if it is safe for you to help. If it is too dangerous, all you need to do is report the emergency on 110 or 112.

What if I provide first aid and make a mistake?

First aiders will not be held responsible for errors, injuries, or property damage. However, this only applies if you do not act incorrectly on purpose or with gross negligence.

What if something happens to me while I am trying to help?

Those who help in emergencies are entitled to compensation. If someone is injured while providing first aid, statutory accident insurance is responsible for compensation. On the German Statutory Accident Insurance website, you will find the accident insurance company responsible for your federal state. If damage occurs to your belongings, e.g. your clothing, the injured person's liability insurance is responsible for covering the expenses.

 How can I prepare for emergencies?

You can take a first aid course. There you will learn which measures are life-saving in which emergencies. The German Red Cross, the Johanniter and the Malteser Hilfsdienst regularly offer such courses. These courses usually cost 20 to 40 euros and usually only last a few hours. This means you can finish the course within the day.

There are also apps with a lot of information about first aid measures. Although these do not replace a course, they can give you a good impression. A free first aid app (in German) is available, e.g. at DRK.

Can I take photos or videos of accident victims?

No. Anyone who takes photos or videos of accident victims is liable for prosecution. You may be punished with a fine or a prison sentence of up to 2 years.