Jena fire brigade in corona operation

04.04.2020
Ein Mann in einem Lager mit vielen Kisten
Peter Schörnig im Lager

For Peter Schörnig, the head of the fire brigade, there is no rest period in these weeks. But rarely is his turbulent daily routine really about fire. "Focus" at the moment is the procurement of breathing masks and protective clothing for the city of Jena. Thousands of masks are needed every day to guarantee the work in the care facilities, the rescue service, the fire brigade and the city administration. Together with his colleague Franz Richter, Peter Schörnig scans the market for available and serious offers.

In Jena, the health department acted deliberately and with foresight, praises Schörnig. In the run-up to the current supply bottlenecks, protective clothing was ordered in time. The city administration can now draw on its own stocks. In particular, smocks and reusable masks are being permanently replenished. Nevertheless, the quantities are not sufficient to supply the population with the face masks. Here the initiative of the people of Jena is needed.

Between the crisis management meeting and the telephone conference, Peter Schörnig took a few minutes to answer questions:

How does the city of Jena meet the great demand for breathing masks and protective clothing? Are there any offers on the market?

There are hundreds of suppliers who are said to be able to deliver any kind of protective clothing at short notice. This is not credible. If they could deliver everything they promise, we would have no shortage in this area. At present, many dubious companies and individuals offer the urgently needed products and try to make money with them. It costs us time and effort to filter out serious suppliers. Nevertheless, we have already been able to procure protective masks on a large scale and distribute them to the city's facilities.

Nursing and rescue services and other service providers in the city work with reusable mouth and nose covers, where do you get them?

Two tailor shops - in Gera and Stollberg - make the masks and gowns for us. We supply the requested quantity to nursing homes, rescue services and other professional groups who urgently need mouth and nose covers for their work. The facilities are now required to set up cleaning chains. Because in order to comply with the strict hygiene regulations, the reusable masks must be washed daily.

In Jena, people are getting used to the wearing of mouth-nose-coverings in public places as well as to the perception and offering of services. Does everyone get a mask now?

We know how important mouth-nose protection is to contain corona infection. Unfortunately it is not possible to supply all areas of the city with these masks. Even a tailor's shop cannot produce huge quantities overnight. Here the citizens of Jena are dependent on private initiatives. It is about acting in solidarity, so we all help each other.

There is, of course, a continuous need for protective clothing in the care facilities. "We use the reusable mouth-nose covers. The top priority for us now is the personal protective equipment of the nursing staff", was the message at the Vitanas nursing home in Jena. The Jena firefighters will devote themselves to this challenge with great commitment in the coming weeks.

The interview was conducted by Maja Haufe from JenaKultur