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The fire and rescue department’s fire fighting fleet has grown and now has 14 planes, after completing the purchase of six new airplanes, which were delivered in Israel a few days ago. This new addition to the fire fighting array was manufactured by the american Air Tractor and can fly for three hours straight with no extra fuel. The planes can carry up to 3000 litres of water for putting out fires. Furthermore, in addition to raise in quantity of planes, the fleet has also doubled its deployment throughout the ocuntry and is now activating eight different landing pads. The hours of flight have doubled, on-call states have been increased, all so that the pilots, having been specially trained to put out fires from the air, can do their job in the best way possible.
The ELAD fire fighting squadron (named after fire-watcher Elad Riben who died in the Carmel disaster) was established following the lessons learned from the great Carmel fire in 2010 and had, at the start of it, 8 planes which took part in the efforts of putting out more than 500 different fires since. When established, the squardon was a part of the Air Force and starting December will be officially transferred to the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Public Security.
The establishment of the squadron is a significant leap in fire fighting capabilities in Israel and now response time will decrease, as there no longer need to launch planes from neighboring countries. Furthermore, the significance of the fleet has become even more accentuated following recurring fire events all over the country. Every self respecting advanced country holds a fleet of fire fighting plaes to be used in great forest fires and now, Israel, having decided to establish its own fleet, has taken a further step in this significant direction and can now rely on itself instead of on the kindness of other countries.