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Firefighter drill held by the Home Front Command 370.(Photo by: IDF Spokesman)
US firefighters observe Home Front Command drill
By YAAKOV LAPPIN
10/23/2013
Military, civilian firefighters from work together to bolster cooperation between IDF, Home Front Command and civilian crews.
A group of firefighters from Arizona observed a drill held by their counterparts from the Home Front Command’s fire-fighting unit and civilian crews from the Fire and Rescue Services on Tuesday.

The drill, which occurred in Modi’in Illit, saw military and civilian firefighters working together to put out blazes and rescue dolls from the flames, Capt. Nir Ben-Simon, commander of the Home Front Command’s fire-fighting unit, told The Jerusalem Post.

“We invited the Americans to observe this unique cooperation between the IDF Home Front Command and civilian crews,” Ben-Simon said.

In one drill, dolls representing trapped individuals were cut out of a burning vehicle, with doors and the vehicle’s roof being pried open, before flames were doused. The exercise also focused on information-sharing between army and civilian rescue services.

Ben-Simon said the Home Front Command sends fully equipped firefighters to civilian fire stations across the country to act as a force multiplier during multiple emergencies that occur simultaneously.

Such a situation could occur during a heavy missile attack or natural disasters, he stated.

“This structure is needed for a scenario involving a large number of incidents, and multiplies the number of firefighters in the country,” he added.

The civilian Fire and Rescue Services trains military crews, who then board civilian fire trucks to scenes of emergency.

Ben-Simon said his American guests had many questions on the close military- civilian cooperation, adding that American fire crews do not suffer from the sort of shortage in manpower and gaps in resources that Israeli firefighters have to contend with.
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