Brandweerzone Centrum, the Ghent Fire and Rescue service, was founded in 1805. Over 450 fire fighters guard the safety of over 300.000 citizens of Ghent and surrounding villages. The professional force has its headquarters near the town centre. Four subsidiaries are spread over the region to assure fast assistance in case of emergency. The service works in the Ghent Port Area as well.
The service employs over 500 men and women. About 450 are active as fire fighters or on one of the ambulances. Next to fighting fires, the service assists in saving both people and animals and in protecting the natural environment. The service in confronted with 500 to 600 large fires per year. The number of interventions annually varies between 7500 en 9000.
Since 2007 the service operates in a new way. The Ghent fire service now works strongly together with other services in the region, making them all more efficient. But more important, the service closest to an incidents is called first in case of an incident whether the service is situated in the municipality where the incident takes place or not.