Preparing for crisis

The Emergency Volunteers Project brings firefighters to learn about putting out a different kind of fire in the Middle East.

By
October 21, 2011 17:43
Fire fighters.

fire fighters 521. (photo credit: Courtesy of EVP)

 
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Entering the lounge of the Petah Tikva fire station, it is unmistakable that the handsome uniformed firefighter with features indicating distinct Hispanic lineage is from out of town. While the rest of the year Robert Gomez serves loyally as an engineer, a flight paramedic, a swiftwater rescue member and a wildfire specialist as part of the Dallas, Texas, firefighters, this week he is simply Rob, reporting for duty in Israel alongside his new Israeli counterparts.

Gomez, along with 12 other US firefighters from Texas, New York and Florida, was recently brought to Israel as a volunteer for an intense week of fire and rescue training, including actual service in the field, by an Israeli non-profit organization known as the Emergency Volunteers Project. EVP was founded in 2007 by Jerusalem paramedics Adi Zahavi and Jonathan Cilman with the goal of providing additional outside manpower on the ground in Israel in times of catastrophe including war or natural disaster.

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