There has been a cooperation of sorts between the fire services in Herzogenrath and Kerkrade for years.
The problem of the various country-specific fire-hose systems was solved by the development of a compatible hose adapter. This fire-hose adapter, documented in both the Haus der Geschichte in Bonn as well as the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, is a fine example of Dutch-German cooperation in Eurode. Nowadays every fire tender is equipped with such an adapter.
But apart from the functionality of the various water hose systems, many other agreements have also been struck. More specifically, these include:
- cross-border insurance cover for both firefighting services;
- identification of warning siren systems by the relevant statutory regulations;
- cross-border radio communication;
- joint cross-border fire drills, as well as
- improving the language skills of fire-service personnel.
Likewise, other emergency services also instigated a cross-border project whereby – in life-threatening situations – the watchword was: whichever service was able to get to the scene of the accident first would take the initiative. If you look at any regional map, you will see that for many neighbourhoods in Kerkrade, the ambulance station in Herzogenrath is undoubtedly closer at hand than the nearest Dutch one in Heerlen. The experience of working in this way proved so positive, that emergency operations continued even after the pilot project had been concluded. This principle is in place despite the lack of any formal agreement to this effect. This provides another good example of how residents in this cross-border region benefit, in deed and not word, without legal treaties having to be drawn up to cast this in stone.
In the last few years, levels of cross-border cooperation between the police, customs and other law-enforcement agencies, have increased considerably, as a result of which more effective action can be taken against drugs tourism, a widespread problem across the region.