Reaction of Minister De Crem to the free column published in De Standaard (August 26, 2019)

August 28, 2019

A free column from Bert Brugghemans was published in De Standaard on August 26, 2019. It appeared one week after the emotional farewell to two firemen in the fire station of Heusden-Zolder. The article bears witness to an enormous passion for the vocation of firefighter, a sincere commitment to other people and society but above all, a deep concern to prevent human tragedies such as the one in Beringen, from happening again in the future.

Minister De Crem shares the author’s concerns and underlines that he is the first partner from those making a commitment within our society aimed at making society better, safer and more pleasant. Minister De Crem: “I am therefore, without any doubt, a partner of the fire brigade and of all our emergency services ; a partner who wants to engage in any conversation on the basis of facts and correct information.”

The free column is an invitation to learn – to really understand events and to look for principles and underlying systems without looking for mistakes. Minister De Crem : “I’m of the same opinion. I’m the greatest advocate of effective fire brigades. To develop a vision, to have a decent infrastructure, to follow training courses, to implement, analyze, assess and adjust, all of this to accumulate and manage the available expertise : it is our common task to work towards this goal. Unlike the author, I do believe that the search for errors is an integral part of it but I also share the author’s view that the question of who’s to be blamed, should not – should never – be the first concern.”

The Expertise Center for Civil Security (KCCE) itself is not authorized to conduct an investigation and  depends on third parties to do so. However, the KCCE has announced that it will carry out an assessment and that it will do so using the means at its disposal. Minister De Crem looks forward to this assessment with confidence : “I have every confidence that this assessment will be carried out thoroughly and accurately, so that it can be the starting point for a meeting between all stakeholders involved in the day-to-day operations of the fire brigades.”

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