Saturday morning, the fire department of Asse, near Brussels, responded for a housefire in the neighbouring city of Wemmel. En 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. François De Ridder, 55, was a 27 years veteran with the volunteer fire department of Asse. He was an Adjudant-Majoor in the Belgian Army. His funeral is on Staurday 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 were 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.