Christmas at sea: sani on deck

Torsten Dallmeyer has what it takes to be a favorite colleague. Since Monday he has been doing his duty as an emergency paramedic on a transformer platform in the North Sea. This is located around 100 kilometers northwest of Borkum and is one of several wind farms that generate energy far off the coast. The 39-year-old stays there for three full weeks and will not return to the mainland until the new year. He spends the Christmas holidays and New Year’s Eve practically alone. Of course there are a few other employees of the wind farm operator – around 35 at the moment, their number will be reduced to twelve by Christmas – without whom Dallmeyer would not even have to be on site. But they are not family or friends. Dallmeyer has both – but no children of their own. That’s why he’s happy to take on the job at the end of the year. “So that colleagues with children can be with them at Christmas.” They appreciate so much charity – says Dallmeyer.

His employer, the regional association Weser-Ems of the Johanniter-Unfall-Hilfe, is in charge of providing first aid to the wind farm employees. Dallmeyer, who comes from Lübeck and has been at home in Oldenburg for many years, has been working in the offshore rescue department for five years. He has a first aid station on the platform, which is also where his office workstation is located. Right next to it is his bunk, which he describes as a “simple hotel room with around twelve square meters”. When he arrived there was an advent calendar waiting for him. “There is also a bit of Christmas decoration,” reports Dallmeyer.

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It’s not the first time he’s been out to sea for Christmas. “We usually all eat together on Christmas Eve,” he says. But at the moment only six people are allowed to be in the dining room at the same time, so the feast must be divided into two stages. Alcohol is not allowed; Safety is a top priority in wind farms. Therefore, the dozen men – women are rare in this place – only toast with non-alcoholic sparkling wine on New Year’s Eve. The firing of missiles is, unsurprisingly, also banned. “When you stand on the platform at midnight, you can’t see anything except a single light from the wind turbine,” says Dallmeyer. He likes that; He doesn’t miss “bullying” anyway.

The paramedic does not need to treat typical blemishes from New Year’s Eve. But he also doesn’t see specific injuries that result from specialized work on the wind turbines all that often. From time to time Dallmeyer has to take care of cuts, very rarely electric shocks. “The illness missions clearly predominate,” he says. An appendix does not take into account that it would be more appropriate to catch fire on land than at sea.

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