New A'dam fire brigade commander threatened by staff

Firefighters' gear (Picture: Wikimedia Commons/Muffet)Firefighters' gear (Picture: Wikimedia Commons/Muffet)

Thijs van Lieshout, the new commander of the Amsterdam Fire Department, received a threatening letter from his own staff. The man started as commander in October. He received the threatening letter at the end of November, Het Parool reports based on a message Van Lieshout posted on the fire brigade intranet.

Van Lieshout succeeded Leen Schaap, who mayor Femke Halsema asked to leave because of conflicts between him and the corps. Schaap twice reported death threats from his own corps. Van Lieshout was appointed to seek "connection" with the corps. 

On the intranet, Van Lieshout said that he considered posting the threatening letter for everyone to see, but decided against it for fear that it would end up with the media ."The content of the anonymous letter was so border-crossing that it would fit an ugly headline above a newspaper article about BAA [Fire Department Amsterdam-Amstelland]. A newspaper article that would probably lump everyone together," he wrote. 

The new commander said that he still "has a lot of confidence" in "the vast majority of the staff of this corps", calling 95 percent of his colleagues "top". "The question now is when we can get the five percent to stop damaging the corps and colleagues," he wrote. 

A "well informed source" told Het Parool that the threatening letter sent to Van Lieshout indirectly referred to his son, who is on the autism spectrum, with the words: "Are you also autistic sometimes?"