History of ASB

The history of ASB can be traced back to 1888. On 29 November 1888, Gustav Dietrich, a 37-year-old foreman, and five other carpenters from Berlin, despite much resistance, established the first teaching course on first aid for accidents. This initiative was prompted by a series of accidents on Berlin construction sites.

There were no safety and accident prevention regulations at that time, which resulted in serious, often fatal injuries. There were neither qualified specialists who could provide first aid to injured workers nor dressing material available. Therefore, the need for a first aid training course was apparent. The course organized by the six carpenters was attended by more than 100 workers.

In the next decades, the Samaritan groups emerge also in other German cities, for example, in Dresden, Cologne, Hamburg and Elbersfeld. In 1909, following the invitation by Oskar Schaumburg, the members of Samaritan groups from different cities met in Magdeburg to form “Arbeiter-Samariter-Bund Deutschland e.V.” (Worker’s Samaritan Federation), that is, ASB.