Israel, PA and Jordan to practice fighting fires together

400 first responders are expected to participate.

A helicopter drops water on a wind driven wildfire. (photo credit: REUTERS)
A helicopter drops water on a wind driven wildfire.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Fires know no borders.
A European Union sponsored two-day forest fire drill involving Israel, Jordan and the Palestinian Authority will begin on Tuesday at numerous locations around the country and will include the participation of some 400 first responders simulating a scenario in which a regional disaster strikes and moves across borders.
Teams from France, Spain and Italy will also participate in the exercise, which is supported by the European Commission’s Civil Protection Exercise.
“The overall goal of the exercise, is for participants to exchange knowledge and attain common capacities, to effectively respond to disaster situations, especially along and across mutual borders,” the Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
The statement said the joint exercise “aims to preserve lives and natural resources, regardless of nationality and/or borders.”
Palestinian Authority Civil Defense spokesman Nael al-Azza said the PA will be sending three teams of 45 firefighters and six fire trucks to the drill. According to the spokesman, two of PA Civil Defense teams will be putting out fires, while the third will be observing.
Azza said the goal of the drill is to prepare the PA, Jordan and Israel to work together if a natural disaster takes place in their territories.
“Disasters take place without warning. We, who are involved in humanitarian and environmental preservation work, need to be ready and prepared,” he told The Jerusalem Post in a phone call.