A few weeks ago, sven weber would never have dreamed of going into voluntary quarantine at his place of work. Meanwhile, since monday, he and three colleagues have been controlling all of the city utility's networks and technical systems from a building section that is accessible only to them. The manner is isolated from the outside world to prevent contagion and ensure the operation of critical infrastructure during the pandemic.
"We don't have cabin fever, and we're all getting along just fine", weber says on the phone and laughs. The 21-year-old worked the early shift from 6 a.M. To 12 p.M. On thursday, keeping an eye on bamberg's electricity, gas and water networks during this time. After a home-cooked lunch, he played a game of bocce with the three colleagues who weren't on duty at the time.
Taking a suitcase to work
"We were thrown in at the deep end, but with a plan", says weber. Like the other municipal utility employees, he volunteered for the isolated workplace. "My mother was a bit shocked at first. But they also know that I'm fine and being tested." when he is relieved for the first time next week, weber looks forward to seeing his family – and mongrel dog nico ("he looks a bit like a fox").
Besides weber, steffen urban also came to work on monday with a travel suitcase. Instead of going on vacation, he and the other city employees norbert eichfelder and ralph schneiderbanger went to the quarantine. Together with their colleagues, the four employees at the verbund control center on margaretendamm in bamberg ensure the smooth operation of the energy and water networks in bamberg, hallstadt and stegaurach. They check, for example, the full status of the drinking water elevated tanks, gas consumption and also the smooth operation of the fiber optic network of the municipal utilities.
A maximum of eight days at a standstill
When the power grid fails, the person on duty knows it immediately. In order to be able to react immediately in the event of storms, the control room is always manned around the clock, even on holidays and in times of crisis.
"Electricity, gas, water, heat, internet – these are all critical infrastructures that need to function at least as reliably now as on any other day.", urban and his colleagues are aware of their responsibility. There has never been a situation like this before, but the municipal utilities had the situation well under control.
The emergency operation continues until further notice, the employees work in four shifts: six hours highly concentrated in the control room, 18 hours break for leisure and sleep. The whole maximum eight days on the stick, then there are four days home leave. The teams are then rotated – but only after they have again tested negative for the corona virus.
For the barracked employees, meeting rooms were converted into dormitories and showers were reserved for the employees of the control room. In addition to the basic foodstuffs, the colleagues in the quarantine are supplied with fresh fruit, vegetables and dairy products. In the canteen, which is closed to other colleagues, there is also a couch and a television, and in the courtyard they can play basketball or badminton. The four men keep in touch with their families by video phone – until they are released by the voluntary quarantine. As far as one can call it in times of the exit restrictions so.
How the police, fire department, judiciary and administration are responding to the special situation in the corona crisis
Visitors to the police station in schildstrabe have to wait outside these days and are only allowed in one at a time. In the guard additional glass panes were installed – like in the meantime at many supermarket checkouts. The service was partially converted to home office, police officers were distributed to individual offices if possible. The service group was split up, the half now sits in the barrier. "We have moved meetings to a rough room, where two to three meters distance is possible", says silke gahn, press officer of the police bamberg-city. The individual service groups no longer meet each other in service operations; the handover is handled by the managers.
"We are not holding classes or drills at this time.", says city fire chief matthias moyano. However, the operational readiness is guaranteed. The full-time staff of the permanent police station is currently staffed only in the minimum shift strength of seven firefighters, six more can be called in. "The colleagues have put themselves in isolation", says moyano. The shifts were always filled by the same people, who were replaced after three days. Among volunteers, moyano keeps book on illnesses "to know which loaching groups work".
Lothar schmitt, president of the bamberg higher regional court, emphasizes that the judiciary also functions in times of crisis. Here, too, home work and video conferencing are increasingly being used. In addition, a "rotation model" had been developed introduced to ensure the functioning of the administration of justice and to protect the health of members of the judiciary. Employees who represent themselves should no longer be in service buildings at the same time. The number of public court hearings has been reduced to the bare minimum and public traffic has also been severely restricted.
The county administration is concentrating on corona management, but wants "as far as possible to deal with people's concerns that cannot be postponed", for example, vehicle registrations or the payment of subsistence allowances. For the necessary distance should provide (where possible) one-room occupation, time-shifted work or home office. Maximum occupancy rates have been defined for all meeting rooms up to the main boardroom and even for the elevator.