Fewer fires, fewer casualties, less damage and loss
No two fire brigades are the same. But there are some topics that are relevant to all brigades, such as response times, reducing the number of false alerts, fighting fires in nature, and general business management. This is something that is dealt with at a national level, while taking regional differences into consideration. Rules, guidelines, methods, equipment, knowledge and quality are also examples of issues that are addressed nationally. The Netherlands Fire Service acts decisively and unanimously and with one common goal: fewer fires, fewer casualties, less damage and loss.
The Netherlands Fire Service: one programme, six task areas
The Netherlands Fire Service is the organisation under which all the Dutch fire brigades work together, headed by the Board of Fire Chiefs (Raad van Brandweercommandanten). This board consists of the 25 fire chiefs of the security regions. The board has an executive committee with a chairman and six programme heads. The various programme heads are responsible for individual areas of the National Fire Services Programme (Landelijk Programma Brandweerzorg):
- Risk control and Fire-safe living
- Incident control
- Skills and knowledge
- Crisis management
- Information management
- People and business operations
Fire service for tomorrow
The general public have again rated the fire service as the most reliable provider of emergency assistance and this makes us very proud. However, we keep building on our knowledge and we continually prepare ourselves for, and respond to, changes in society. How do we do this and what is our view of the future? We have described this in our book ‘De Brandweer over morgen'. Here, the emphasis is on increasing people's ability to get themselves to safety without assistance and on improving fire safety awareness among companies and the general public. To achieve this, we are opting for technical innovations, such as new fire extinguishing agents and equipment, and new equipment to save people. But we also, and specifically, invest in the development of our professionals in order to enable them to continue to do their ever-changing work properly and with passion and pleasure. Because it is our people that are the foundations of the fire services.