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Jul 24, 2018 By Jewish National Fund Category: Environment,
Fast fire wagons from JNF aid Israelis under siege along Gaza's border
|JNF CEO Russell Robinson and a fire wagon purchased with |
Jewish National Fund donations.
In addition to the wagons, Jewish National Fund has deployed professional firefighters to the area's kibbutzim. Residents have enthusiastically welcomed this much-needed assistance. While local kibbutzim have provided housing and meals for firefighters staying on site, JNF forestry personnel are also there to stop the spread of the damage. Volunteers from the kibbutzim themselves have joined the firefighting efforts, as well, and the IDF has provided off-road vehicles and additional reserve firefighters to bolster the efforts of the region. Across Israel, local firefighters have been heading south to assist where the need is greatest.
|Credit: Israel Fire and Rescue Services|
While these brave men and women work tirelessly to put out the fires, they become vulnerable to the additional risk of nearby rocket fire regularly shot from Gaza. With no bomb shelters nearby to run to, firefighters in the open fields must quickly fall to the ground, covering their heads, and then continue working to put out the fire once the siren warning is over.
"We are not working alone," said Yoram Levi, spokesperson for Israel Fire and Rescue, explaining the vital participation of those assessing and curbing the damage. "We are working with KKL-JNF forestry people and volunteers in the kibbutzim. The army is giving us some reserve firefighters ... which has made significant improvement."
For years, the pioneers in the Negev have made their mark on Israeli history, literally making the desert bloom. However, the green efforts of their work have quickly turned to black.
"We didn't know what to ask for," said Michal Uziyahu, Jewish National Fund liaison for the Gaza Envelope. "But I know that JNF is the exact thing our community needs. Lay leaders touch the ground here and support us and make us dream, think and strategize."