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Firefighters in Judea and Samaria training routine: Special dangerous goods fire truck and high-altitude rescue mission using a crane

Israel’s firefighters are busy training and preparing ahead of new firefighting scenarios: the Dangerous Goods Unit at the firefighters’ Judea and Samaria district force recently trained using a dedicated fire truck for dealing with dangerous goods. At the same time, other firefighter units conducted a high altitude rescue exercise.

According to the firefighters’ training branch Captain Assaf Evers, Judea and Samaria has many cases when large trucks carrying dangerous goods experience one malfunction or another.  Only recently, a dangerous goods team was dispatched to handle a truck that had been overloaded with acid. When the truck began climbing up the road, it had sprung a serious leak creating a 50-meter long train on the road behind it, forcing the road to be closed for hours.  During this time, the unit began containing the problem, namely sealing the leak, absorbing the acid and preventing any further damage. The second stage was sealing the truck to prevent any further leaks.

The dedicated dangerous goods is equipped with special gear, complete with specialized suits for the team, pumps for absorbing dangerous materials, sealing kits, washing means and additional dedicated equipment.

iHLS Israel Homeland Security

Most cases involve heavy vehicles, including one belonging to the Palestinian Authority, which travel along the roads throughout Judea and Samaria carrying materials such as fuel, gas, chemicals and so on. In some cases, drives have lost control over the vehicle, and even fell hundreds of meters down.

Another task firefighters handle is rescue missions from tall buildings. The firefighters recently conducted a drill in the course of which they exercised firefighting in high altitudes as well as search and rescue. Experts explain that whereas traditionally, rescue efforts focused on fighting the problem from the outside, making their way inward, using fire tankers filled with water, foam and so on, high rises call for different solutions.

Firefighting methods for high rises:

Nowadays, each high rise is equipped with smoke detector systems, water sprinklers, elevator control and a control and command chamber. The taller and newer the building, the better equipped it is in terms of the built-in systems. Therefore, firefighters use very little water, if any, and use – as well as practice – large cranes for evacuating residents, especially ones trapped on the uppermost floors. Each firefighter has a special gear they take to the top levels, connect with the in-house systems and begin firefighting operations.

The recent drill was dedicated to rescue from tall buildings using special means and a crane.

Illustration courtesy of Israel Fire and Rescue Services
Illustration courtesy of Israel Fire and Rescue Services