It's a small world



Een artikel op de Amerikaanse website http://firechief.com zorgt voor amerikaanse interresse op onze blog dit weekend. De hoofdredactrice, Janet Wilmoth, van dit gezaghebbende magazine, die ook hun internetversie hebben, gebruikte een bericht van mezelf over wat er zich hier afspeelde om haar wekelijkse columm te schrijven. Het ging als volgt :


Small World

By Janet Wilmoth at 11:24 am, 06/29/2007

This past week was difficult for the American fire service with the funerals for the nine firefighters from the Charleston (S.C.) Fire Department. Across the ocean, in a small town in Belgium, a fatal fire apparatus accident also has had an impact on a fire department here in the states.

In June 2006, the Fire Observers, a group of eight firefighters from across Belgium, visited Tualatin Valley (Ore.) Fire & Rescue for an educational experience. As the Fire Observers learned about how the American fire service operates, they exchanged ideas, shared fire stories and enjoyed camaraderie throughout their two-week visit. They also kept a blog, complete with pictures.

Last week, just outside of Brussels, the Asse Volunteer Fire Brigade was responding to a house fire in the neighboring city of Wemmel. The driver of the engine lost control of the apparatus, and the vehicle made “head rolls,” landing upside down against the foundation of a concrete bridge.

The apparatus was carrying five firefighters: the driver, a 27-year veteran with the brigade, was killed immediately; the other four were injured, two seriously.

Of the seriously injured firefighters, one is fighting for his life, and the other, Guy De Bondt, is paralyzed from the waist down. De Bondt, 29, was one of the Fire Observers who visited Tualatin Valley last year. He and his girlfriend are expecting a baby in December. Firefighters from Tualatin and the Asse Volunteer Fire Brigade have been exchanging condolences and updates on DeBondt.

According to one of the Fire Observers, Bttn. Chief Paul Vanlook of the Gavere Fire Department, it’s ironic that the Fire Observers’ next scheduled visit is to the Charleston Fire Department in September.

“I visited them last year during my vacation and talked to the assistant fire chief just two weeks ago [about the visit],” Van Look wrote, adding that the Fire Observers have sent their condolences to the department and hope that the visit still might work out, as they have already purchased their plane tickets and have hotel reservations.

“It’s a tragic incident that happened,” Van Look wrote, “but after some time of reflection and mourning, life has to go on. Let us realize that the profession or the hobby we have is not without danger.”

In their message of condolence to the Charleston Fire Department, the Belgian firefighters wrote: “The brotherhood of firefighters across the world feels your pain at this sad time. We are all trained to help those in need and often put our own lives in peril. The men and women who entered that building to save lives and in turn lost their own will never be forgotten. The scenes of destruction and human tragedy will be etched in our minds forever.”

The fire service is a small world unto itself.


22:02 Gepost door Fireobservers in Oregon in Algemeen | Permalink | Commentaren (2) |  Facebook |


Welgemeende woorden van over de plas.....

Deze week kregen we via de bestuursleden van de Fireobservers al enkele mails van Amerikaanse collega's die hun deelneming uitspraken voor het verlies van François De Ridder van brandweer Asse, en ook om de beterschap naar de betrokken gekwetste brandweermannen uit te spreken. In het bijzonder was dit aan de Guy gericht die vorig jaar met ons meeging voor een brandweerstage bij Tualatin Valley Fire and Rescue in Oregon. Deze wensen werden hem reeds overgemaakt, maar ook hier krijgen ze een plaats op de blog...

Guy was in elk geval geemotioneerd door deze blijken van sympathie tijdens deze moeillijke dagen.


Oh gosh Carl.....this is terrible news.
I've forwarded this to our Union and I definitely do remember Guy.
If you could please provide us with an address so we may send him our well wishes.
I apologize for not typing with your earlier, but life has been busy.
Our thoughts and prayers are with him and his co-workers. Please provide us with any updates as time goes by.
Deze mail kwam van Captain Leonard Damian, Station Officer station 34, TVF&R.


I’m sad to hear that an Engine rolled over with a fatality and serious injuries. Please express my condolences and regrets to the family and fellow firefighters of the engineer (driver). A FF death is such a tragic loss of a brother FF is very sad. Please let the other injured FFs involved that I wish them well and a best of recovery.
Take and be safe!, Bill
Deze mail kwam van William lau, TVF&R


I am very sorry to hear about the accident and for the loss and injuries of your friends. Please know that all of you are in our prayers and that we think of you often.
My condolences, Jason Allegri
Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue , Station 34
Tualatin, Oregon USA


Carl, my name is William Coker I was one of the firefighter who showed you around when you came to Oregon. I remember Guy very much. He was so excited and full of energy about how we do things here at Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue. I wish him and his family the very best. We are all sad and in shock over what happened. Please send him our very best regards and we will keep him in our prayers. Sincerely, Will.
Deze mail kwam van William Coker IV, TVF&R.


We are all stunned and saddened by your loss and the loss of a brother firefighter as well as the severe injury of another. I have forwarded the email to all the dept. who also sends their thoughts and prayers to you all.
As you may know, South Caroling suffered a tremendous loss of 9 firefighters on the same day as your accident. Very tragic that a roof collapsed on these men trying to search out for possible entrapped employees of a furniture warehouse and business. It is always a difficult time to loose someone in the line of duty. If we can do anything, please let us know. I would like to get an address so that we could send our well wished to your friend, Guy, while he is in the hospital. We would also send our sympathy to the family and to the other injured firefighters. So, if you have that, please forward to me and I’ll get it out.
I think of you guys everyday. Tell them all that I am still waiting to hear from them. Debbie
Deze mail kwam van Captain Debbie Bryars, Mobile Fire Rescue.


Hey Charlie:
The loss of our brother firefighter is so sad and we all grieve with you. For our brothers in the hospital and rehab we wish the best recovery.
Yours in the fire service,
Tim Alameda, Reno Fire Department
Vanwege Deputy Chief Tim Alameda, Reno Fire Department.


I am so sorry about your friend and all of the other men hurt in the
accident. It is always such a tragedy when things like this happen. We lost
a wonderful firefighter and person last year in a simular accident and it
just seems like things like this never get better, even though I did not
know your friend I am so sorry. If you need anything, even just to talk, I'm here.
Autumn Nurton
Vanwege FF. Autumn Nurton, New Orleans Fire Department.


Our prayers go out to you and yours. In America, traffic crashes are the number one reason for loss of life on duty---You may have heard also that we lost 9 FF's in a roof collapse at a warehouse fire in Charleston, South Carolina on Monday night.

Keep in touch and I'll pass the word to our Brothers and Sisters here about your loss and wishes for speedy recovery of the others

Mark Lieberstein, Sr.

Vanwege Capt Marc Lieberman, Hillsborough County Fire Rescue
Tampa, Fl. 33610


De komende dagen zullen er ongetwijfeld nog meer mails de mailbox in vallen, ook die zullen Guy overgemaakt worden. Verder kunnen jullie hier ook nog jullie woorden overmaken via een rouwregister dat werd aangemaakt. http://rouwregister.first-response.be/ .


13:42 Gepost door Fireobservers in Oregon in Algemeen | Permalink | Commentaren (0) |  Facebook |


Belgian firefighters community mourn the loss of a brother

Saturday morning, the fire department of Asse, near Brussels, responded for a housefire in the neighbouring city of Wemmel. On route to the incident, things went wrong....the engine lost control of track, made some head rolls and stopped to bridgefoundations, lying on his roof. The cause for the incident is still to be found.

The apparatus carried 5 firefighters; two firefighters were slightly wounded with cuts and bruses and were able to secure themselves. The driver was killed immediately. Capt François De Ridder, 55, was a 27 years veteran with the volunteer fire department of Asse. He was an CW 4 in the Belgian Army were he was the director of the Army Band. His funeral is on Saturday 06-23. 2 other firefighters were also heavily injured with fractured and displaced vertebras. One of them is doing pretty fine but the other one will be paraplegic, doctors are saying for the rest of his life.... That firefighter is our Fire Observer Guy De Bondt. 29 years old and with is girlfriend Ann waiting for a baby to come in December. He's a volunteer firefighter in Asse and a nurse in the ER of the UZ Brussels.

Guy is one of the Fire Observers who was in the training program with Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue, Oregon. A program that we did last year with the last day on june 16th, exactly one year prior to the accident of last Saturday.


The Fire Observers vzw are in grieve, and our thoughts and prayers are with the families of François, Guy and the other victims, as well as with the fire department of Asse.


Condolances can be left at the following link :

 http://rouwregister.first-response.be/ .

18:16 Gepost door Fireobservers in Oregon in Algemeen | Permalink | Commentaren (0) |  Facebook |


Slecht nieuws - Bad news

Juist op de dag dat we één jaar geleden een fantastische twee weken mochten afsluiten met de kleine groep van acht fireobservers, bereikt ons het nieuws dat één van ons, nl Guy, betrokken is in een vreselijk verkeersongeval met een brandweervoertuig. Op weg naar een brandinterventie geraakt het voertuig van de weg , gaat enkele malen over kop en komt tot stilstand tegen een brugpeiler.

Balans, één brandweerman overleden, twee zwaar en twee licht gewonde.

Guy werd met zware verwondingen overgebracht naar het ziekenhuis, waar hij hopelijk zal herstellen van zijn kwetsuren. We wensen de familie en vrienden van alle betrokkennen sterkte toe in deze moeillijke momenten, en hopen vanop deze plaats te mogen blijven berichten over de evolutie. Enkele beelden van het ongeval en enkele beelden van betere tijden in Oregon.



Met dank aan Hulpdiensten forum en First response voor de beelden.


















Exactly one year after the return from our fantastic trip to the states, we got news that Guy, who stayed in Station 61, was seriously injured in an on call incident. On the way to a fire call, the fire engine slipped, rolled over and campe to rest against a bridge. Guy sustained serious injury and was transported to the hospital where he is being treated. We all pray that Guy and his family will have the courage to stand through this ordeal. We will be there to help if nessecary and hope to report on the evolution on this page.

22:17 Gepost door Fireobservers in Oregon in Algemeen | Permalink | Commentaren (1) |  Facebook |