The Reddingsbrigade Nederland is the overall organisation of 180 lifesaving brigades all over the country. The Association counts over 31,000 voluntary members, of which about 4,000 are active as lifesavers during the summer season.
The Netherlands is a water country and therefore needs a good water education. The concentration of the brigades is along the coast from North to South and along the shores of the inland lakes where water recreation takes place. The primary task of the Organisation is to prevent water accidents. The secondary task is to take action when accidents occur with small sailing boats and surf boards.
Lifesavers and lifeguards have modern equipment at their disposal, from rapid Inflatable Rescue Boats to radio communication. The volunteers are not only able to perform a swimming rescue, they are also trained to give first aid and resuscitation to the victims. This education programme starts at the age of five with swimming lessons. Candidates can be trained in different aspects of lifesaving by instructors who are also volunteers.
In most cases, the lifesaving brigades are financially supported by the cities and local governments, in exchange for the security on the beaches and municipal water areas. The KNBRD is closely working together with all other lifesaving organisations in the Netherlands such as the Search and Rescue group, the Coast Guard, etc.
The Organisation is very active in cases of flooding, where they have a disaster crew at the immediate disposal. In order to keep this crew alert, a yearly accident simulation is done.