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.
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.
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.
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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.