American volunteer firemen arrive to bolster weary personnel

Forty volunteers firefighters from the United States will arrive in Israel by Sunday and immediately begin working at dousing flames throughout the country.

The fire-fighters, who come from across the US, are being brought by the Emergency Volunteer Project, which trains and brings emergency first-responders to Israel to assist Israel’s emergency services and the civilian population.


“We train in advance volunteers who are ready to come here in case of emergencies,” a spokesman for EVP said. “We take the best fire-fighters in the US, train them for handling structures that unlike in America are mostly concrete, and certify them.”

Since its inception in 2009, EVP has trained more than 950 emergency volunteers and professional first-responders throughout the US.

Most recently, during Operation Protective Edge in the summer of 2014, EVP deployed separate teams of fire-fighters and medical personnel to Israel to provide much needed support and relief services.

The Public Security Ministry asked EVP to bring 40 firefighters. But another 20 are on standby and up to 100 are willing to come if needed.

Sholom Reches, who is a firefighter and paramedic in Baltimore, arrived in Israel on Saturday.

“It was important to me to come to help Israel and its fire-fighters,” he said.

“This was an opportunity that I was more than glad to pick up.”