Municipal fire services in the Netherlands answered nearly forty thousand calls for technical assistance in 2000, about the same number as in the previous year.
Cases of assistance
Viewed in the long term, there seems to be an upward trend in cases of technical assistance provided by municipal fire services: on average the fire services answered 39 thousand calls for assistance a year in the period 1997-2001, some ten thousand more than in the period 1985-1989.
This is an average yearly increase of more than eight hundred cases.
More help outside buildings in particular
Cases of assistance outside buildings have increased more substantially than help inside buildings. Nearly 6 out of 10 cases in which the fire services render assistance are outdoors, mostly on roads, verges and grounds.
Wind and water
Depending on the weather, the yearly number of assistance cases can turn out to be four to five thousand higher or lower than in an average year. In 2001 the number of call-outs varied between 2.6 and 4.4 thousand a month. Nearly one third of the cases in 2001 were in the third quarter.
In the summer months of 2001, the fire services were called out to help with flooding problems more often than in the summer of 2000. In the province of Zuid-Holland such cases were nearly sixty percent up.
Fewer casualties in 2001
In 2001 municipal fire services rendered assistance in accidents involving 6,237 injured persons. This is nearly 500 fewer than in the previous year. In 2001 5,700 people were rescued or cut free by the fire services, nearly ten percent more than in 2000.
Relatively more help in large cities
Fire services in the four large cities (Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague and Utrecht) assisted in nearly three times as many cases per hundred thousand inhabitants as in towns and villages with fewer than twenty thousand inhabitants.
Noord-Holland and Zuid-Holland are the provinces with the most cases of assistance per hundred thousand inhabitants: the fire services in these provinces turned out twice as often per hundred thousand inhabitants as in Friesland.