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Frequently asked questions (FAQ)

The EMRIC office regularly receives questions regarding cross-border collaboration and what exactly is and isn't allowed. We have established a list with the questions most often asked with their respective answers. 


Q1: Are emergency services (ambulance- and fire services) allowed to cross the border?

A1: Within the Euregion Meuse-Rhine emergency services are allowed to cross the border to provide the best possible care to citizens. This is, however, not self-evident: within the Euregion Meuse-Rhine a number of agreements have been concluded between neighbouring countries that arrange matters such as finance, competence and liability. These agreements combined with the commitment of the many employees make cross-border collaboration possible within this region.


Q2: Are ambulance services or fire services allowed to make use of optical- and acoustical signals in a neighbouring country?

A2: Foreign emergency services are, just as national emergency services, allowed to make use of optical and acoustical signals. Foreign emergency services should in these cases, however, adhere to the guidelines of the country in which they currently are. This means that Belgian ambulances should adhere to Dutch guidelines when they are in the Netherlands. Since this can lead to some confusion, the EMRIC office has developed cards that show what is and what isn't allowed when abroad. 


Q3: Who determines whether a foreign ambulance or fire truck is called to the incident scene?

A3: The dispatch centre that answers the 112-call looks which ambulance or fire truck can be at the scene of the incident as soon as possible. In case this would be a foreign service, the respective foreighn dispatch centre is contacted, which in turn sends the ambulance or fire truck to the incident scene. It is not possible to request help from a specific country yourself.


Q4: Is it possible to choose to which hopsital I will be brought, in case I need medical assistance close to the border?

A4: Independent of which ambulance comes to the incident scene (national or foreign), your wishes are in principle taken into account. However, the choice of hospital is dependent on multiple factors (for example the nature of your condition(s) and the available beds in the hospitals). It can therefore not be guaranteed that you will end up in the hospital of your choice. 


Q5: Why do we collaborate across the border in the Euregion Meuse-Rhine?

A5: There are multiple reasons why we collaborate within the Euregion Meuse-Rhine. Below you can find a small listing of the most important reasons:

  • Providing assistance as quickly as possible: Especially in border regions such as the Euregion Meuse-Rhine, it could be the case that foreign emergency services can be at the incident scene faster. To provide our citizens with the earliest available assistance, we collaborate with our neighbours.
  • Assistance during large-scale incidents: During large-scale incident, it could be the case national emergency service lack the required capacity to extinguish the fire or to treat and transport the injured. In these cases, assistance from other regions is needed. In a border region such as the Euregion Meuse-Rhine, neighbouring countries can provide this assistance faster than national services.
  • Exchange of knowledge, expertise and technical know-how: By meeting with each other regularly to exchange information we are not only able to learn from each other, but also get familiar with each other. In addition, every country has its own specialist equipment, which the other countries can make use of.