Local group DLRG Saale-Unstrut receives Wenzelspreis

Numburg – Just relax and swim in the lake and sea in peace and quiet. It’s almost impossible for Ines and Willie Hackbarth. “Wherever we go, we have a completely different perspective and look at things differently,” says the 51-year-old. With her 26-year-old son, the original Abtlöbnitz is a board member of the local Saale-Unstrut group of the German Lifesaving Association (DLRG), which was honored this year with a Wenceslas Award by Naumburger Tageblatt/MZ. It currently has 145 members ranging in age from five years to the mid-1970s. Two-thirds of them are children and young adults. We are the largest domestic group of DLRG in the Burgenland region, but one of the smallest in the country,” says Chairman Willie Hackbarth.

It all started with kids swimming

The commitment is far-reaching and has developed gradually over the period since its founding in 2002. It all started with children’s swimming, at that time still in the thermal pools in Bad Kosen. Founding members included Kristen Rosovsky, who served as president for several years, and Michael Hildebrand, who died in 2021 at the age of 59. “Everyone knows him in swimming for children. His death is a great loss,” Ines Hackbarth stressed. Today, countless children are not taught to swim in the Bulabana sports and leisure pool as well as in the outdoor pools of Freiburg, Bad Bebra and Nebra.

Two-thirds of them are children and young adults. We are the largest local DLRG group in the Burgenland region, but one of the smallest in the country.

President Willie Hackbarth

The local group provides and trains lifeguards – including the German armed forces and police. And not only their own services are used in the region: for ten years now, they have been providing emergency services to the rescue service on the Baltic shore in Heiligenhafen (Schleswig-Holstein). Willie Hackbarth has already faced many difficult situations there. “That’s part of it. It’s not a vacation, you have more responsibility,” says the 26-year-old, who was a member of the DLRG as a child and later completed several courses. According to recently published DLRG statistics, 299 people have died in Swimming accidents nationwide Last year 1,655 people were rescued during operations.

Training in Bulabana: A person is pulled out of the water with a spinal board that is used to treat spinal injuries.

(Photo: Torsten Bell)

The local group’s tribe also includes divers, including five active rescue divers; The only ones in the area. In the meantime, the local collection is called up as a specialized service via the control center in the event of water accidents. Important partners: the fire brigade and the Federal Agency for Technical Relief, with whom they have conducted joint exercises several times in the past. The association also acts as a trainer in the fields of first aid and medical services. Very modern drone assembly building. “Searching for people takes a long time. With technology, we can search a large area in a very short time,” the club manager explains.

From showering rules to behavior on the snow: prevention plays an important role

However, one of the mainstays plays a special role in the local collection: prevention, the transfer of knowledge beyond learning to swim – such as bathing and beach rules or tips on snowboard safety. Day care centers and primary schools are visited for this. “We want to connect with parents through the kids. We are mainly looking for senior assistants for this job,” says Ines Hackbarth. However, the club can’t complain about the popularity: there are waiting lists for both swimming courses and memberships. “We would take more if we could. ‘, said Enes Hackbarth, noting the staff required for this and the lane times booked at Bulabana.

In Bulabana, not only safe swimming and diving are trained, but rescue exercises are also performed.

(Photo: Torsten Bell)

All these diverse tasks are performed by the members of the local group on a voluntary basis. The technology and vehicles are funded through membership fees, donations or subsidies. “Rescue workers have to buy their own clothes,” says Willie Hackbarth. Rescuers take leave for their mission in the Baltic Sea. In addition to a fee of only five euros per day in addition to meals, accommodation and travel expenses are provided. But why the effort and commitment? “A group has been formed in which there is a team spirit. Friendships have been formed,” said the president.

The award has been awarded since 1994

Our newspaper has awarded the Wenceslas Prize every year since 1994. This honors the special voluntary commitment of clubs or individuals. Recently, in 2019, the Reading Patrons group was considered for the Nuremberg Citizens’ Assembly. In recent years, the award has been given to the Moritzkirche Development Association, the Unstrutbahn interest group, Dieter Lang and Horst Becker of Almreich, Roswitha Hartmann of Nebra, and Brigitte Krause of the Bad Kosen working group of the Rheumatology Union, Unstruttal Nebra and the Beekeepers Association of the surrounding area.

The awards ceremony is traditionally held during the Wenceslas Reception, which is expected to have many guests on Thursday. Numburg sculptor Stefan Albert Hütter has created this year’s Wenceslas, which is awarded with the award not awarded.

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