Firefighting Plane 311.
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Israel's first firefighting squadron is getting off the ground, four months
after the huge Carmel fire, which killed 44 people and exposed the serious flaws
in Israel’s Fire and Rescue Services. The first three firefighting planes were
expected to land at Tel Aviv’s Sde Dov Airport Tuesday, and these will be part
of of a new seven-plane squadron.
The squadron will be named for Elad
Riven, a teenage Fire Scout volunteer who was killed in the Carmel Fire. Four
more planes are scheduled to arrive in the coming weeks.
will use Air Tractor AT 802 planes, which carry three tons of water and fire
fighting chemicals. Two of the seven planes in the squadron have the ability to
fill their tanks in mid-flight over the Mediterranean or the
Elbit Systems Ltd. and Chim Nir Flight Services Ltd. purchased
the planes, after submitting a joint bid in the Ministry of Defense
The Israel Air Force will have operational responsibility for
the firefighting squadron.
Most of the planes will be based at the
Megiddo airfield, partly because of its proximity to fire hazard areas.