firestation

My fire station

Fire Station "Willem" in 1971 just before my time at the fire brigade. But i love this picture. Retouched it with photoshop. I started my career 8 years later at this station. The best time of my life. The station was opened in 1909 and closed in 1984. I worked here for 5 years.As i told you earlier. I started my career in 1979, after three months of training camp, on this station, named "Willem" on the nieuwe achtergracht.

Around 40 fireman worked every day that time in the station. Divers, ladder, the baby, air supply car, officer car, petrol car, rescue car and the Jan van der Heyde ,our fire boat, in front of the station After 5 years we moved to another station, with the same name. We still work with two shifts, A and B squad, with 24 hour shifts. You start at 8:00 in the morning and live in the station until the next day 8:00. Then the shifts switch from A to B or vice versa. For the fireman it means one day work next day free. 3 shifts in a week, after this cycles 3 or 5 days free, and so one. 3 holidays in a year. in winter 13 days, summer 3 weeks and spring 13 days. 108 days of work in a year. Thats why many fireman from Amsterdam doing jobs when they are free. Every morning we try to keep our house clean. Always coffee at 10 a clock. We wash the vehicles. Sport, we buy our food for lunch and diner. Some of us are great chefs. In the afternoon there is training and sport, outside or in the station. Diner at 6 pm. And the nights are mostly busy. All of this schedule is besides the calls we get, to help people or fight fires. Our fire department had that time, 1979, 16 fire stations in Amsterdam, spread out over 4 sections. And we needed them all.

Today it is completely different. There are almost no chimney fires anymore. Many homes where lost by this. In the society in which we now live, there are gladly so many rules and laws to protect us, it is almost impossibly for a fire, in a customer building, to expand more than the room where it started. The big fires today are mostly trade and industrial buildings, but there are always exceptions to the rule. I remember a fire, where i did my job, in a building that was the safest at the centre of Amsterdam in those days, on16 december 1983. It was the fire in Casa Rosso at the redlight district of Amsterdam. This fire was an example of the way in which fires start, definite how it turns out. The 11 people i found with my colleague, in a small room, had no change, there was no air to breath for them because of the smoke. It happened to fast for them, but above all, the fire was to fast for any modern safety system, even now. The fire started, because a man who lost his job at Casa rosso that day, walked in with a can of petrol, sprinkled it around, and the damage was done. please try the links to see more about the fire. Tomorrow i am back to tell you about the station i worked the other 29 years of my career as a fireman.


 Mijn Brandweerkazerne.

Deze foto is van kazerne Willem in 1971 , genomen vlak voor ik bij de brandweer ging. Maar ik vind dit zo een mooie foto , ik heb hem wel een beetje bewerkt met photoshop. Mijn carriere begon 8 jaar later op deze kazerne . het was de beste tijd van mn leven. deze locatie opende in 1909 en werd gesloten in 1984. Ik heb op deze locatie 5 jar mogen werken. Zoals ik jullie al eerder heb verteld  , begon ik mij carriere na een training van 3 maanden in 1979 op deze Kazerne Willem aan de nieuwe achtergracht.

In die tijd werkte er elke dag 40 man op de kazerne , de chauffeurs  , de Ladderwagen , kleine autospuit , Autospuit  , de A-wagen , Reddingswagen en de jan van der heyde . onze brandweerboot die in de gracht lag