Bullying not the main cause of firefighter's suicide: A'dam mayor
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Investigation showed that bullying was not the main reason that an Amsterdam firefighter took his own life at the end of 2019, Amsterdam mayor Femke Halsema said in a letter to the city council, AT5 reports.
Last week, NRC spoke to the firefighter's widow. She said that her husband took his own life after a period of structural harassment at the fire department.
In a written response to that article, Halsema said that two investigations were done into the firefighter's death. One by the Public Prosecution Service found that no punishable offenses were committed. And one by ARQ National Psychotrauma Center concluded that bullying was not the main reason for the man taking his own life.
"In the report, in addition to bullying, ARQ mentioned a large number of other factors such as youth, private life, psychological condition and type of work. These factors were briefly mentioned in the NRC article. Due to respect for the firefighter's privacy, I will not go into these in more detail," Halsema said in her letter to the city council.
Halsema acknowledged that the firefighter's widow should have been involved in the ARQ investigation. "Her involvement would have supplemented the report. She was also not informed about the investigation. In June 2020, the widow held the fire department liable for the firefighter's death. This resulted in the contact being looked at too much from a legal perspective and too little from a human perspective," the Amsterdam mayor said.
Halsema instructed the fire department to set up a mediator who can help answer any questions the firefighter's family still have.