5 minutes later, the Krankenwagen arrived, the lady hugged the three guys after they told the paramedics what happened and then left. The paramedics were asking her questions like her name, where is she, did she have any pain. Each time she gave an answer. Basically, they were checking for any concussion symptoms (at least that’s what I gathered in my broken German). After about 10 minutes, the Krankenwagen left and she walked away. I saw no handover or writing down of information.
As I was riding the tram to class, I kept thinking about how this same situation would have played out in the US? My guess is that more often than not, someone would have came over to her to ask if she was okay, but I doubt anyone would have called an ambulance given no blood especially since she said she was okay. Also, would an ambulance arrive with no information or insurance information being written down. The even more sad scenario is that most likely since she started to get up as soon as she fell, no one would have stopped to help.
Most times it seems like in the US it is every person for themselves for the most part. Whether it is from a fear of getting involved, fear of litigation, or being so self-absorbed that people just seem to not be too aware or helpful. And, most certainly an American ambulance just would not show up, help someone and then leave without recording some information, because after all…someone has to pay for the service!?
Meanwhile, in Germany, this isn’t an isolated example, as I have seen this happen one other time before where someone falls and almost immediately someone else is right there to help. I have seen this too in the interactions with the Police. Friday afternoons at the train station, that is when some people get an early start to the weekend and are obviously drunk. I have seen the situation occur at least three times in the past year where someone was getting a little too rowdy from drinking and the Police arrived. But unlike in the US, where the person would have surely been whisked away in the patrol car, the Police here were calmly talking to the guy, asking him to walk over to a bench to sit down, and stayed with them for at least 15 minutes while they calmed down.
I don’t know, and I haven’t conducted a poll, but it just seems like people here in Germany have more of a sense of community and looking out for their fellow neighbors that I just don’t recall being so evident back home in the US. Another example here in Germany is in order to get a driver’s license, you have to attend a 6 hour first aid course. You are legally responsible to make an accident scene safe if you are the first to arrive on the scene when driving. In the US, if someone sees an accident, the most they may do is stop and call 9-1-1, let alone get out and setup roadside flares, pull / carry / walk the driver to safety from the car, and administer first aid from the mandatory first aid kit that everyone must have in their own car.
Of course, this isn’t to say that someone in the US would not take care of someone if they saw an accident or vice versa that a German would totally ignore someone who had. But, I have seen examples firsthand that really does point out that at least generally here in Germany there are many who are their brothers’ keepers. And after witnessing yesterday’s events it gave me reassurance that there are good people in this world.