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Employee Thanks His Lifesavers

Following a heart attack in Hall 12 at the Wolfsburg plant, Harald Porsch visits the health center.

Harald Porsch (center) and the people who saved his life (left to right): Wolfsburg’s senior in-house physician Dr. Hannelore Zeugner, emergency doctor Elena Friesen, paramedic Daniel Sulfrian, and Sven Scharenberg (fire protection).

A touching gesture in Südstraße in the Wolfsburg plant: With a bouquet of flowers and chocolates in hand, Volkswagen employee Harald Porsch visited the health center to share his gratitude with the people who saved his life. The 58-year-old had an acute heart attack at the start of his night shift in Hall 12 on January 7. He had to be resuscitated by the emergency services called to help him.
He was already sweating on his way into work and Porsch recalls he noticed a stabbing pain in his chest that “felt like intense heartburn.” It prompted him to lie down in the shower room. “The pain became worse and worse. I could hardly breathe.” Luckily, there was a blessing in disguise: His colleague Lucas Knorrn reacted quickly, dialed the emergency number 555, and the paramedics arrived on the scene within a few minutes.
Paramedic Daniel Sulfrian and Jens Hielscher from the fire protection team knew it was serious right away. They notified emergency doctor Elena Friesen and started administering first aid. When they took their patient to the ambulance on the stretcher, Porsch developed a life-threatening irregular heartbeat. “We had to resuscitate him with the defibrillator,” recalls Sulfrian. The heart muscle had stopped pumping. Once he had been successfully resuscitated, he went straight to Wolfsburg hospital where the staff had already been told about the emergency.
“I wouldn't be here if it weren't for you,” said Porsch at the reunion. He hugged those who saved his life tightly as he announced, “I will be celebrating my first birthday next year on January 7!”

"I wouldn't be here if it weren't for you"

- Harald Porsch

Reunited: Harald Porsch delivers flowers for emergency doctor Elena Friesen.

The rescue chain at Volkswagen

What should you do if a colleague is injured at work or becomes acutely ill? Rule number one: Dial the emergency number 555 and describe your location to the emergency services in as much detail as possible. Then designate a colleague as a guide who will direct the ambulance from the entrance door to the place of action, for example. First responders will administer life-saving emergency care at the site of the accident.  The paramedics will usually arrive at the scene within a maximum of five minutes. The employees at the health center and the fire service regularly train the team to handle emergencies. Last year, they offered basic and further training for 3000 employees in the Wolfsburg plant to become first aiders.