In recent years more and more municipalities have pooled their fire fighting capacities into safety regions. These are co-operative organisations of a number of municipalities in one region which coordinate assistance by the fire services, ambulance services, police and municipal services. Legislation for safety regions is still going through parliament at the moment. The current government has decided not make it obligatory for fire services to work within a safety region. This makes it possible to retain local fire services or to combine them in regional fire services.
Staff numbers may decrease as a result of regionalisation for various reasons. As a result of the increase in scale, fewer workers may be needed. Also, it may be more difficult for volunteer firefighters to fulfil their tasks as journey times to the new fire station may become too long, or because they are less committed to such a less local organisation.
In addition, some workers may be assigned more general tasks when fire services are regionalised. These tasks cannot be simply allocated to specific fire fighting tasks, as a result of which these workers can no longer be counted as ‘staff of regional and municipal fire services’.