Shortage of voluntary firefighters in Netherlands

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Voluntary firefighters are leaving the service due to the increasing amount of bureaucracy.

The Netherlands – The number of voluntary firefighters has decreased rapidly in the past three years as the number of quitters exceeds those who joined the force, says the Dutch professional association of voluntary firefighters.

In the past three years, the number of voluntary firefighters who left was 1,000 more than the number of new recruits.

Those who quit said they were put off by the increasing amount of bureaucracy and the growing distance between management and firefighters.

The association wants the government to introduce a campaign that will encourage more Dutch citizens to sign up for voluntary firefighting.

Other recommendations include allowing fire service volunteers to have a greater say in the running of the fire brigade.

The association also said the time taken to pass on an alert to the fire station should be reduced so that voluntary firefighters would not be unjustly blamed for a delayed arrival at the scene of a fire.
Radio Netherlands / Expatica

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