Actually, 2012 was not a bad year for the bamberg water rescue service, if it hadn’t been for the tiresome issue of the costs for swimming training in the bambados. "We did not have to pay anything for our legally required training hours in the old indoor swimming pool. Now in the bambados we have to hand over around 4,000 euros a year to the municipal utility company", criticized marcus petermann, chairman of the bamberg local group.
Training takes place every wednesday – and the water rescue service has to pay 95 euros for it. This means that the water rescue service is classified in the same way as a swimming club. "But we are a rescue service, and we don’t swim for fun or for medals or trophies that end up in the clubhouse," he said, petermann railed at the members’ meeting. A recently concluded service agreement with the municipal utility company has eased the situation somewhat. According to this, the water rescue service commits itself to 150 hours a year of supervision of the pools. At the same time, around half of the annual fee is waived for them.
But the chairman is not entirely happy about this arrangement. For one thing, he complains, his team now has to work to be allowed to train – and for another, there is still a large sum of money that the water rescue service has to pay. "We have only a small membership fee, from which we must also pay our insurance. Therefore, 2000 euros is a big chunk for us", explained the local group chairman.
Hope for grants
CSU district chairman christian lange, who represented the mayor of oberburg, held out hope of possible help. According to lange, like any other sports club, the wasserwacht could apply to the sports office for a grant within the sports requirement guidelines. "Since we know however around the special situation of the associations acting in the bambados, we increased the subsidy with the budget discussions around 10.000 euros", he reported. The city wants to check whether the costs for the water rescue service in the bambados are now covered.
Apart from the indoor swimming pool story, the BRK water rescue team drew a positive balance sheet. Above all, chairman petermann emphasized, there were no major hindrances to the operational capability during the horticultural show, contrary to what had been feared in advance. And this despite the fact that the access road to the garden show grounds led directly past the water rescue team’s house. "I must admit, i had imagined it would be worse. On the whole, there were almost no problems", petermann described. Due to the stream of visitors, the pier and the area on the shore could hardly be used for training and service, but due to the high frequency of passers-by, the water rescue service had increased opportunities for public relations work, which had also been used intensively.
Last year, the members of the bamberg local group contributed over 21.000 watch and rescue hours at the rescue stations mainspitze and at the water rescue center bamberg as well as at the stadionbad and other operations. In addition, there are 175.000 on-call hours for members of the rapid response team. This force, which is on call day and night, had to go out on five emergency missions last year, for example to search for a bargeman who had fallen off a ship in the strullendorf lock and to locate two missing persons who had threatened suicide.