Bart van Leeuwen lectured about the evolution of the Amsterdam Fire Department, a story about transformation from traditional aggressive to cutting edge aggressive with the ultimate goal of firefighter safety during the Core Education Program of FRI 2018 (Fire-Rescue International) in Dallas, TX.
The Amsterdam Fire Department has a long tradition of maintaining its own tactics and procedures over the national standards all based on experience, pride and rich history, going back to the 1600’s. Change was not something easily achieved within the department. In the year 2000 the PPE of the Amsterdam Fire Department consisted mainly of Wool and leather in combination with a relatively modern SCBA and Helmet. Tactics hadn’t changed over more than 30 years and most the fire trucks were at least 13 years old. Fast forward to 2018, the department has transformed every aspect of the fire fighting operations, tactics, PPE, fire trucks, equipment and training.
The audience was given an overview of the motivations for change and the lessons learned. What works and what doesn’t, who to involve if you want to have a radical change to make your operations modern and safe but still aggressive!
Bart’s lecture was very well received by the audience and had several valuable discussions.