U.S. firefighters arrive in Israel to combat rocket-induced fires

(JNS.org) A delegation of 13 firefighters from the U.S. has arrived in southern Israel to help the Jewish state extinguish fires caused by Hamas rocket attacks.

A delegation of U.S. firefighters (illustrative photo) arrived in Israel to help Israel firefighters in the South of the country extinguish fires caused by rockets launched from Gaza. Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

The Jewish Federation of Greater Washington connected with an initiative called the Emergency Volunteer Project to arrange to bring the senior firefighters and officers from Los Angeles, Washington, DC, and Texas.

"We were all part of the massive tragedy that was 9/11. There we undertook search and rescue missions. When we heard that hundreds of rockets are falling on Israel, we decided to join forces and come and help," said firefighter 51-year-old Billy Hearst of Texas, reported Yedioth Ahronoth.

Hearst called the situation facing southern Israeli communities "insufferable."

"We cannot ignore this reality, when Israeli firefighters work hour after hour to save human life," he said.

Reshef Tzvika Moyal, the head of the Ashdod District Fire Services, said that the U.S. volunteers have been distributed "across the stations facing the heaviest workload since the operation began and they are in the fire trucks and stations together with their Israeli counterparts, working side by side."

Thirty additional elite U.S. firefighters are expected to arrive in Israel to join the current group, said the head of the Emergency Volunteer Project, Adi Zehavi. 

"We cannot sit idly by in the U.S. while here in Israel there is war for 10 days straight," Hearst said.

Posted on July 17, 2014 .