After months of wrangling, an agreement to reform the Fire and Rescue Service
was finally reached between all government ministries on
According to the new firefighting model Prime Minister Binyamin
Netanyahu, Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz and Public Security Minister Yitzhak
Aharonovitch presented, a national fire and rescue service will be established
to replace the individual fire services that operated in local
The fire service’s budget will receive an additional billion
shekel cash injection each year.
The agreement on the additional budget
was reached after the Knesset Interior Committee last week accused the Finance
Ministry of failing to commit to the increase.
A solution was found on
the basis of the Prime Minister’s Office Director-General Harel Locker’s
proposal of a gradual budget increase.
“For the first time in many years,
we are submitting a national fire service with one commander and two arms – the
ground arm, which has been upgraded, and the aerial arm, which has been
established,” Netanyahu said.
“Part of these changes have already taken
effect and what we have seen until today, that over 200 fires have been
extinguished since the Carmel wildfire, without developing into massive fires,
is the result of the upgrade that has been done,” he added.
said, “We are witnessing a historic day and are in a completely different place
than where we were one-and-a-half years ago. There is a great change here.”