Over 2,000 firefighters demand commissioner resign in no-confidence vote

‘His conduct endangers us and the entire Israeli public,’ says letter to Erdan.

Fire-fighters work to extinguish a fire in Haifa. (photo credit: REUTERS)
Fire-fighters work to extinguish a fire in Haifa.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Less than one year after Brig.- Gen. Dedi Simchi was named Fire and Rescue Services commissioner, more than 2,000 firefighters signed a no-confidence letter on Monday demanding his immediate resignation.
Simchi, 53, was appointed to the position last March. He previously served as Home Front Command chief of staff and its Southern District commander, National School of Search and Rescue commander and the IDF’s military attaché to China.
In a strongly-worded open letter to Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan, Simchi’s subordinates stated that his “conduct endangers us and the entire Israeli public.”
“The commissioner is busy with personality worship and endangering public safety,” Firefighters Association chairman Avi Ankori said on Tuesday.
“The writing must be on the wall: The firefighting system today cannot provide a response to a disaster involving many casualties, and Gilad Erdan must act as soon as possible before we all pay a heavy price,” he said.
According to Ankori, the crisis between the fire department and the commissioner continues to escalate.
“This letter symbolizes another chapter in the long struggle against the improper conduct of the Fire and Rescue commissioner, and the firefighters are turning to Erdan to ask him to save the fire and rescue system under [Simchi’s] responsibility,” he said. “Sadly, as soon as he took office, Dedi Simchi proved that he intended to act against the firefighting crew, to ignore the serious problems at hand, and to endanger the lives of the fighters at the expense of all the members of the security establishment.”
Simchi routinely verbally attacks his subordinates while promoting himself, Ankori said, adding: “Public Security Minister, we call upon you to intervene immediately and to stop the continuation of his faulty conduct, and to prevent the destruction of the firefighting system for the public’s safety.”