BKCN General Commander - renewed appeal

Three islands, almost one hundred employees, one fire brigade. As General Commander you will be in charge of the Caribbean Netherlands Fire Department. The fire department is developing continuously and has the ambition to keep enhancing the physical safety of citizens, companies and visitors of Bonaire, Saba and St. Eustatius.

HBO | Bonaire | 39.5 hours| P&O2021_01_008 | Closing date: 3nd of March, 2021

Job description

Currently, the fire department has been in existence for ten years. In 2020 the fire department will be celebrating its tenth anniversary. A great time for you to join. We now have a sound basis and are in a phase of further development during which the focus is on a joint and connected organisation from the three locations on Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba. Each station has its own commander, but as the General Commander you oversee operations as a whole and take a lead during future developments. Together with the management team and staff you will continue to create a fire department that is optimally prepared for its tasks. You will also work on creating a safe society by preventing, restricting and mitigating risks. 

Your tasks for the coming period

  • You implement the initiated development trajectory. When doing so you will take account of the outcomes of the Sector Consultation Caribbean Netherlands [Sectoroverleg Caribisch Nederland], in which the exact tasks, jobs and job descriptions are stipulated.
  • You continue to implement the Periodic Preventive Medical Examination [Periodiek Preventief Medisch Onderzoek] process.
  • You implement the 2020-2023 Management Plan [Beheersplan].
  • You further develop and implement processes in the field of crisis management and disaster relief. You do this in close consultation with the executive councils of the public entities.
  • You actively participate in crisis teams when combating, amongst others, hurricanes and/or pandemics.
  • You perpetuate and intensify the collaboration with the fire departments on Curaçao, Aruba and St. Maarten.


The Caribbean Netherlands Fire Department [Brandweerkorps Caribisch Nederland] (BKCN) is the fire department for the islands of Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba. BKCN is part of the Ministry of Justice and Security [Justitie en Veiligheid] (JenV) and is responsible for fire department tasks on the islands and at their airports. The Minister of JenV has ultimate responsibility for BKCN. Fire department employees are employed by the Rijksdienst Caribisch Nederland (RCN). The organisation currently has 93 employees and may expand its workforce to 100 employees. Our fire fighters work from 3 bases on Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba. Each of these is run by a local commander. As General Commander you will be responsible for the entire (integral) management of BKCN.

Job requirements

  • You have an academic level and at least a diploma at higher professional education level (HBO);
  • You preferably have a diploma of Chief Duty Officer from the Institute for Physical Safety [Instituut Fysieke Veiligheid], or a diploma from a comparable management course;
  • You have preferably attended relevant training courses in the field of crisis management and disaster relief, such as the Master of Crisis and Public Order Management programme (former MCDM);
  • You demonstrably have excellent leadership skills;
  • You have experience in security matters;
  • You preferably have a formidable track record in the fire service in both on a repressive and policy level. This allows you to encourage craftsmanship and further development of the fire department;
  • You have an understanding of the operational aspects of management, such as finance, risk management and HR;
  • You have good communication skills in spoken and written Dutch and English. It would be an advantage if you can speak Papiamento;
  • You have experience with guiding complex processes of change within a dynamic, administrative and preferably multicultural environment;
  • You have affinity with the Caribbean.

Terms of employment

As General Commander of the fire department you will fall into scale 14 ($ 5,263 -  $ 6,501) of the BES Civil Servants Pay Regulation [Regeling bezoldiging Rijksambtenaren BES]. Your employment will be temporary from three to five years. Initially you will be given a temporary employment contract which we will convert into a permanent contract if you perform satisfactorily. A three to five year secondment is also an option and would be arranged via the Ministry of Justice and Security.


  • The job is a full-time position based on 39.5 hours a week.
  • Your work location will be Bonaire but you will also regularly travel to St. Eustatius and Saba.
  • A civil aviation security check is required.
  • The selection procedure may include an assessment and will consist of a selection based on letters of application and interviews with a selection and advisory committee.
  • Responding to this vacancy is possible until July 21, 2020. The interviews can take place in both the European Netherlands and in the Caribbean Netherlands and are scheduled for the week of the 3rd of March 2021. The new General Commander will be appointed during the summer of this year.

More information?

Information about the job can be obtained from the General Commander, email: Wouter.Zitter@brandweercn.com, phone: +599 701 9112.

Digital application

The Curriculum Vitae with motivation can be sent to the Ministry of Justice and Security, email:  jenvpostbusvacatures@minjenv.nl.