Fire, Rescue Service to replace individual units

The fire service’s budget will receive an additional billion shekel cash injection each year.

July 17, 2012 04:10
1 minute read.
Israeli Fire and Rescue Serviceman

Israeli Fire and Rescue Serviceman 521. (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)

After months of wrangling, an agreement to reform the Fire and Rescue Service was finally reached between all government ministries on Monday.

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 authorities.

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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.

Aharonovitch 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.”

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