Pieter Maes | blog English



Jeannine the Superfan!Jeannine the Superfan!Photo of Jeannine Goossens Sirault, a true Superfan of the Brussels fire department. This respectable lady won't hesitate to jump on a public bus, nor to dive into the subway if it can get her closer to an intervention where we are working. Her ears are like a radar, looking for the siren of our firetrucks or ambulances.
If she can, she is there and will take some pictures. With that material she is keeping
an amazing blog. Check it out here.

March 2, 2014

This is Jeannine Goossens Sirault, a true Superfan of the Brussels fire department. Posing in-between some of the last recruits that will startto work in our department.

I got to know her in the Sint Pieter Hospital in Brussels. I saw an her arriving at the ER. The ER of the Sint Pieters Hospital can be a bit hectic. So I walked up to her to ask wether she needed help. She was helping her husband who had a mild injury to the head that needed attention. Just the fact that she decided to come to the hospital on her own means deserves respect. Many younger people these days would have called for an ambulance. It tells something about this lady. And when I informed why she didn't call us, she replied "You guys have more import and work to do..." It stunned me. 
She asked for my name and the same night...


Read the full article >>>


February 23, 2014 DSC_3985.NEFDSC_3985.NEFOn 11 of July 1995 more then 8000 men were killed in Srebrenica. It is the single biggest massacre in Europe since WWII. And it happened in our backyard, not more then 10 hours of driving from Brussels.
We arrived on July the 10th. Unknowing that the yearly memorial day was one day later.
It made a huge impression on me and I believe it is one of the places every European should go to. It is our very recent history and it is a horrible one.

The events in Kiev touch me on a different level then other similar events… This does not justify any other dictatorship in the world and it also does not deny the suffering of other people. I am as shocked by the events in the Central African Republic as many others. Thousands have been butchered, those who are fleeing have to be protected. And those who are angry are this for a reason. It is, as so often, a tragedy with two sides. But nothing can justify the religious cleansing that happened there in the past weeks. It is total dehumanisation… It is fair to say that 15% of the population of the Central African Republic has been killed, disappeared or is fleeing....


A firefighter working its way through a cable entanglement module.

February 18, 2014

This article was published in the Belgian magazine 'Brandweerman'. It has been translated to English and is available for download or you can read it online in the blog.

"In Europe, and Belgium more specific, some fire departments and training institutes are considering to start the formation of a RIT. With the training institutes wanting to provide the necessary training. But RIT has as many critics as believers. And both have their arguments that make sence. First of all a RIT has to be seen in the right perspective and secondly training has to be given in a proper way with a logic learning process. And this regarding each individual firefighter and the potential RIT member.

The idea and concept of RIT, founded in the USA early ‘90ies, is in the first place a personal responsibility for each and ...

Read the full article  >>>