Fire Brigade is ready 24/7 The firefighting crew who have been stationed for four and a half months at Kamp Holland in Uruzgan mainly consists of men from the Gilze-Rijen Airforce Base, supplemented by men from Soesterberg and Leeuwarden. The base of the fire department is equipped with a command center, an office, hobby room and an outdoor terrace where visitors and fellow soldiers regularly drink a cup of coffee and have a chat. “We live together all time. We only handle that because the atmosphere is good. A lot is being laughed at here, “says sergeant Marcel (32). The duthmen is the commander of a fire fighting truck. The eleven-strong team has three crashtenders and a tank car sprayer, together for 20,000 liters of water and 1,500 liters of foam. The accommodation of the fire brigade crew is close to the landing strip of Kamp Holland. The firefighters preventively protect the landings of all aircraft that call at Camp Holland. Marcel: “We have to be constantly on standby and we will not finish the camp during our broadcast. That puts a lot of pressure on the team. A broadcast of four and a half months is quite long for this kind of work. Three months would actually be a better time, but it is not that we get bored, even though the days look alike. Recently, a few handy guys from us have put together a bank, so we are constantly busy. For my girlfriend Anita it is much heavier because she is alone at home, while we are here with a whole team”.
Sergeant Marcel was first sent to Bosnia in 1994 as conscripted military, where he worked as a wound nurse and driver of a doctor. In 1998 he went to Bosnia again, but then as a professional soldier. In 2001 the switch to the air force followed and after his training in Woensdrecht he arrived at the airbase Gilze-Rijen. “The entire package of assistance has always appealed to me. Even now as a firefighter I keep an interest in the medical side “. About his motivation to go to dangerous areas like Uruzgan, he is certainly: “The adventure appeals to me. Somewhere we hope that we have to get into action again. A big fire without victims and without too much damage where we can prove our worth, would not be wrong “, he says laughing. For the time being, the firefighters have more than proven their worth. Within a few weeks they were deployed at two helicopter fires, a tilted tanker and some container fires. The genius also regularly calls on the team from Gilze-Rijen. Marcel: “As long as we are busy on a regular basis, I have a good time here!”.
The text has been checked in advance by the defense. No changes have been made. Photo-caption: De Bredase firefighter Marcel protects the landing of an American Hercules at Camp Holland. Photo: Bart Coolen.