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Mistaken ideas about firefighters

Fire Brigade and Emergency Medical Service of the Brussels-Capital Region (SIAMU/DBDMH) - Mistaken ideas about firefighters
Popular rumour or inaccuracies in certain media sometimes contribute towards underpinning a number of mistaken ideas about the firefighting profession. Here are a few examples.

80 % of firefighters’ work involves ... ambulance services!

Some people may not realise it, but the same men and women who provide firefighting services also act as ambulance drivers and attendants in Brussels. However, each member of a duty shift is assigned a specific role. In fact, emergency medical assistance accounts for over 80 % of the activities of SIAMU.

Firefighters do not collect in the streets!

The SIAMU does not contact the local population in any way. They do not sell support cards or tickets for balls, tombolas or any other events.
People are expressly requested not to respond to such requests.

Safety has a price!

For example, a pump ladder costs € 600,000. The service has an annual budget of approximately € 80,000,000.

Firefighters use drinking water!

True! Water is taken from the municipal water distribution circuit. In exceptional circumstances, it may also be pumped from the canal, a water course or a pond.

The police cannot be reached by dialling 100!

The number to call to request emergency assistance from the police is 101.

Carbon dioxide snow is outdated!

In the past, carbon dioxide snow was used to put out fires.
Today, carbon dioxide is used in liquid or gas form exclusively in the food industry.

Firefighters’ uniforms are not made of asbestos!

A firefighter’s outfit (jacket and trousers) is made of a fabric that provides protection from heat.  It also has to enable ventilation (perspiration) and be resistant to cutting and tearing. In some exceptional cases, firefighters have aluminised outfits that protect them from flames for a few minutes.

Industrial accidents are rarer than in the construction sector!

Ongoing training, safety rules and the individual protection provided for firefighters all help keep the number of accidents suffered on the job at an extremely low level.