Impression from My Visit to the Fire Fighters’ Haifa Command Station Bay Region, Israel

The Haifa fire fighters’ Command Station is responsible to answer calls from central Israel Netanya to the northern point, Rosh Hanikra, on the Lebanon border.

 I stand at the Haifa fire fighters' command station entrance

The Haifa fire fighters are somewhat different from their fire fighters brothers serving elsewhere. They are responsible for 1.5 million citizens and each one of them is trained to respond to a wide scope of emergency calls and threats, i.e. fire, sea port, airport, tunnels, heavy and petro chemical industries, railway, dense forest on the Carmel Mountain and tall buildings. With all that, the Haifa fire fighters feel as if they are the stepson or foster son of the national organization.

 The Haifa fire fighters' command station and grounds

Haifa command station has 9 substations. The key word is time, the crucial factor in sometimes life and death. The faster the fire fighters can get to the scene the faster the issue can be resolved.

 I dine breakfast with the fire fighters at the fire fighters' substation downtown Haifa

At my visit to the station gave me the feeling that among all the fire fighters that is a sense of community and a deep sense of commitment. With their own lean funds the Haifa fire fighters built a small but magnificent synagogue where the observant can pray. From their own pocket money they also built their elaborated gym room. But what I sensed the most is pride in what they do. It is a culture.

 The synagogue at the Haifa fire fighters' command station

Though the government takes care of the large expense, funds are always scarce and each additional shekel is measured wisely where it should be spent. And that is where donations are most welcome.

With the country being small and congested the use of large fire vehicles are redundant at time. Haifa fire fighters are in an immediate need to purchase fully equipped ATV at approximately $25,000 each. The ATV will take a crew to where no car, small or large, could.

 The needed ATV

Haifa fire fighters also seek to build a visitor’s center at the approximated $60,000 cost. Over the years they collected exhibit worthy items of expired equipment which they would love to put into a permanent exhibition hall, as part of the visitor’s center to be built at the command station in order to be able to professionally and under hospitality conditions welcome the many visitors they receive as well as encourage schools to visit for education purpose.

 One collector item, a fire car from the 1930s now in storage ready to go on display

What impressed me the most and deeply touched my heart was my meeting with the fire fighters’ scouts group. From age 15, each year, a fire fighter scout serves 60 hours and beyond, working with the fire fighters and learns personal responsibility and commitment, to connect with and get to know the community and to give of himself or herself to the country. While positioned in the external circle in order to endanger them the least, they actively and logistically help the crews while on call as well as perform chores at the stations. As a result, the fire fighters scouts experience social connectivity, form unity and develop national affiliation. They contribute to the community while performing their pre-military national service.

 I am among the fire fighters scouts at the Haifa command station
 At the desk of Uri Chobotaro, the Haifa fire fighters command station spokesperson
I made a promise to Uri Chobotaro, the Haifa station spokesman and his fire fighters colleagues several of them I met, to make an effort to raise awareness and perhaps even help raise the funds needed. If you, the reader, would like to help, please contact me through this site and together we will put a huge smile on each and every Haifa fire fighter face and accomplish a true mitzvah-good deed.