When his beeper goes off, it takes Peter Bloemers 4 minutes to gear up and get to the place of need. How long does it take you to get ready in the morning? “I wanted to be a firefighter since I was a little boy. When everything is going bad, I need to come in and make it all right again. We all have one goal, to get everyone out alive. It’s my passion, but when it happens, trust me, it’s your worst nightmare.”, Peter says. Within 3 minutes a room can go up in flames. So the quicker the response time, the better the outcome.
In the Netherlands Peter has about 25.000 colleagues. 80% of them are volunteers. These are the people that risk their live to save others. So your life could be in hands of volunteers. But when Peter’s beeper goes off, the first question he asks himself is: do I have enough firefighters available? Understaffing is our number 1 problem.”
“The fire service has the highest trust aim in the Netherlands but we face a serious problem. To prevent understaffing becoming a problem the fire service needs to evolve.” Instead of looking forward, Peter studied history. Let’s take a look at the middle ages. When a house burned down, the townspeople simply made a line, handing buckets of water to each other. The so called bucket brigades. Really brave, but highly unprofessional.
Nowadays the problem has shifted from the local community to the problem of the fire service. We’re losing the connection to each other. But together we can fix it, Peter says.
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