Israeli firefighters thank Bulgarian 'brothers in arms'

Contingent from Sofia includes 92 personnel who flew into Israel on the Bulgarian president's personal plane.

December 3, 2010 16:21
1 minute read.
Bulgarian firefighters arrive to help fire

Bulgarian firefighters 311. (photo credit: Ben Hartman)


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Bulgarian firefighters who came to help Israel put out the worst fire in the country's history are nothing short of heroes, an Israeli fire commander said Friday.

At the rescue services' headquarters at Haifa University on Friday, Fire Department spokesman Guy Menasherov said the Bulgarian contingent "is working very hard to save lives and save the Carmel. We seem them as brothers in arms and we are working side by side to fight this fire."

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Menasherov described the Bulgarian contingent as including 92 personnel who flew into Israel early this morning on the Bulgarian president's personal plane. They were joined by the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Dimiter Tzantchev, the former Bulgarian Ambassador to Israel, who described the mission as of the utmost importance.

Throughout the afternoon, local Israelis from the Carmel region approached two colonels from the Bulgarian Fire Department to express their gratitude. One Carmel resident posed for pictures with the two officers and told them "you dont understand how much this warms my heart to see you here helping us."

A number of Israelis came up to shake the officers hands, one of whom spoke of his family's roots in Bulgaria, and how his mother was born in Sofia. The pleasantries and photo ops were cut short however, when the Bulgarian officers and the former ambassador were spirited away by an IDF home front officer (also with Bulgarian roots) who took them to supervise their countrymen fighting the flames ravaging the Carmel.

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