Hot summer created more work for fire services

© Hollandse Hoogte / Marcel van den Bergh
In 2018, control room operators of The Netherlands Fire Service processed 245 thousand reported incidents, i.e. 12 percent more than in the previous year. The number of reports and call-outs was up for both fire and non-fire incidents. Last year’s hot summer caused a higher incidence of roadside and vegetation fires, requiring additional deployment and leading to longer response times. Statistics Netherlands (CBS) reports this on the basis of newly released figures.

19041 Fire servicesFire and rescue emergencies reported to The Netherlands Fire Service ‘18244,600126,620117,98072,88067,78063,020Rescue services76,02069,20060,600Reported incidentsFire services

In 2018, The Netherlands Fire Service received nearly 118 thousand fire alarms, up 2 percent on the previous year. Nearly two-thirds (76 thousand) of these incidents resulted in actual call-outs; this is 4 percent more than in the previous year. Roadside and vegetation fires in particular led to the increase in call-outs.

Roadside fire call-outs
YearQuarterNumber
2014Q1592
Q2674
Q3591
Q4307
2015Q1285
Q2847
Q3641
Q4499
2016Q1295
Q2525
Q3746
Q4438
2017Q1343
Q21214
Q3460
Q4229
2018Q1242
Q2698
Q32327
Q4554

70 percent more roadside fires

Last year, the number of roadside fire call-outs was up by 70 percent to nearly 4 thousand. Firefighters were called out over one thousand times for vegetation fires, almost double the number in 2017. Among these vegetation fires, the incidence of forest fires was up in particular, namely triple the number in the previous year. In total, the fire service was called out 360 times for forest fires last year.

Roadside and vegetation fires mainly occurred in safety regions with many nature areas, e.g. in the provinces of Noord-Brabant and Gelderland. Of these fires, over 60 percent took place in the hot and dry period during the third quarter.

Vegetation fire call-outs
JaartalForestUnknownHeathDuneReedPeat
20141406023142311
20159813426124213
20166011526160163
201711117615846426
2018364303222734715

Small increase in response times

In 2018, the fire service had a slightly longer average response time than in 2017. On average, it took 7.9 minutes before the firefighters arrived at the scene, i.e. 0.2 minutes (12 seconds) longer than in 2017. Both the average response time and driving time rose by 6 seconds.

The average driving time was mainly higher in the safety regions with higher incidences of roadside and vegetation fires compared to 2017.

Average response time during fire and rescue call-outs, 2018 (Minutes)
JaartalCall-out timeTurn-out timeDriving time
20180.82.94.2
20170.72.94.1

More rescue call-outs

Last year, the fire services logged 127 thousand reports of non-fire incidents, 23 thousand (22 percent) more than in 2017. These resulted in 73 thousand actual rescue call-outs, an 8-percent rise on the previous year. The number of rescue service call-outs increased for the second year in a row.