Germany | Helping where help is needed

Andreas Schumacher | 28
Team leader in the fixed-head CNC milling department of the MC plant, Tuttlingen

Because infusion pumps are so critical for ICU beds, the B. Braun plant in Melsungen had a mountain of orders for pump production and devices to assemble in the summer of 2020. The plant could barely handle this with its own employees. Andreas Schumacher, team leader in the fixed-head CNC milling department of the MC plant in Tuttlingen, found out about the emergency by reading a notice. He, along with 25 other employees in Tuttlingen, volunteered to move to Melsungen for two months to help out at the plant there.

Mr. Schumacher, Melsungen is five hours north of Tuttlingen by car. How was the move for you?

I knew from the start that B. Braun would take care of everything there: room, board, a safe way to work. In the middle of the pandemic, the move was actually a welcome change of scenery. Even the work was an exciting change for me: Instead of working on fine surgery drills, I spent eight weeks assembling monitors for ICU beds and dialysis machines.

Why did you decide to take on this responsibility?

In the field of medical technology, you’re taught about responsibility right from your apprenticeship, because we all know that our products are used to treat, ventilate or operate on people. So, when I learned that they needed someone, I took on the responsibility without giving it too much thought.

What motivated you to face the challenge of a sudden move?

Many of my colleagues in Tuttlingen went with me to Melsungen and we were very well received there.

What gives you hope?

The vaccinations. I hope they will allow things to get closer to normal again - and I can travel and get together with my friends.