Swiss Samaritan Association

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The Swiss Samaritan Association (SSB) is a Swiss SRC rescue organization based in Olten . The SSB organizes first aid courses, takes on the medical service on various occasions (sports, festivals, etc.) and is mostly in cooperation with the local rescue services. In the case of rescue service support, the Samaritans are called for support in larger deployments (car accidents, major incidents, etc.).


Like its Austrian counterpart, the SSB has its roots in the military sector. The Bern Military Medical Association was founded in 1880 . Feldweibel Ernst Möckli, the president of this association, was impressed by the success of the book "Samariterschule" by Friedrich Esmarch , who conducted the first Samaritan courses in Kiel in 1882 and founded the German Samaritan Association (now the Arbeiter-Samariter-Bund Deutschland eV ).

In 1884 Möckli organized the first two Samaritan courses and in 1885 the first Samaritan Association was founded. As early as 1888, 14 Samaritan associations formed the Swiss Samaritan Association; In 1890, the doctor Walter Sahli founded the Samaritan Association Langenthal, also one of the very early members of the association. Right from the start, the SSB sought contact with the Swiss Red Cross (SRK). He has been a corporate member of the SRK since 1984 - in contrast to Austria, where the ASBÖ (Arbeiter Samariterbund Austria) and the ÖRK (Austrian Red Cross) are sometimes jointly in rescue organizations, but treat each other as competitors.

With the time of industrialization, the number of accidents with human involvement also increased sharply. Medicine made great advances at the same time, but the number of doctors was very small. One had to know how to help oneself and because of this the Samaritan associations with their population courses were given a central task. With the increase in leisure time - the permitted working hours were limited to 11 hours per day - not only the number of gymnastics clubs increased, but also that of Samaritan clubs.

In 1887 the first Samaritan associations were formed. They also offered other courses, such as home nursing or maternal and infant care.

The emergency aid course has existed since 1965 and was declared mandatory for learner drivers by the Federal Council in 1977. In 1993 the Samaritan associations launched population courses in cardiopulmonary resuscitation .

Until 1914, the Samaritan associations had spread largely in German-speaking Switzerland . During the two world wars, however, many new clubs were also formed in western Switzerland and Ticino . In 1944, the Samaritan Association already had 1,160 Samaritan associations with more than 50,000 Samaritans. The number of members reached its peak in the 1960s with over 60,000 members.

Help Samaritan Youth

The young Samaritans have had their own organization, the Help Samaritan Youth, since 1968 . At that time, a first group of young Samaritans was founded in Basel - inspired by the German Youth Red Cross . In the same year, a group was founded in Volketswil ZH. In 1996 it was decided to work together between the youth groups of the Swiss Samaritan Association and the Swiss Red Cross. The Helpzeitung was replaced in 2001 by the colored youth magazine “Ready” and the youth pages in the association organ “Samariter”. Today (2009) there are around 80 Help Samaritan Youth groups.

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Individual evidence