Budget cuts and the reorganisation of the fire service will lead to more deaths because it will take longer for fire engines to reach the scene, the volunteer fire service said on Monday.
In many places, the maximum time a fire engine should take to reach a blaze is being stretched to the longest allowable 18 minutes, Cees van Beek told news agency ANP.
This is because the government wants to close many small fire stations and focus on 25 regional operations.
Van Beek also said many volunteer fire officers would step down if the reorganisation goes ahead.
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