Brandweerman is what we call it in Dutch :)
Hello there FIREHOUSE userbase,
My name is Arendjan or Jan for short (i know how horribly european it sounds)
a 23 year old Dutch Guy from a small Town called Goor in the lovely province of Overijssel in the Netherlands. I work at a 3d graphics and design company and am a volunteer firefighter (or Brandweerman as we call it) as i've been for the last 2 years.
The reason i joined is rather simple. and perhaps a bit cliché. i find international firefighting very interesting especially in the extreme difference in terms of gear and equipment to each nation. i really like how each different region country or even city has its fire department perfectly suited for that typical scenario and location.
for example, the US firetrucks are quite large in general they are true to tradition as are the firefighters themself the iconic american helmets usually with crazy stickers on them its truly the american way reflected in the firefighters and their equipment. compare it to the Dutch firetrucks and fighters and you'll notice the difference. our trucks might not be nostalgic and huge, but that wouldnt be practical in the european city design with narrow roads. they are build to be as efficient as possible in the dutch urban envoirment. and shamefully we dont put cool stickers on our helmets though.. :(
although i must say i've tried on an american helmet once and no offence intended but they seem quite heavy and perhaps slightly lacking in protection of the sides of your head ? i'd love to read a US firefighters opinion on this. we use the (mostly standard in europe) MSA F1 helmet wich is light weight and very comfy and with the faceplate down you've got complete head protection. however i'm sure theres already a discussion going on about this subject somewhere on these boards.
looking forward to reading up on the american style of firefighting. and if you have any questions or remarks regarding the dutch way of doing things or perhaps gear/equipment by all means ask ;) now to leave you with a set of pictures.
this is me during an excersize tending to a 'victim' we just dragged out of a 'burning' building.
one of our local fire engines
Friendly greetings (and apologies for my horrible spelling errors i undoubtedly made),