“Firefighters receive more calls in winter than in summer”


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Israel’s Fire and Rescue Services are learning the lesson from last year’s major storm.

Fire Commissioner Shahar Ayalon made a surprising revelation that the Israeli Fire and Rescue Services receive more calls in winter than they do in summer. He made this point during the recent conference on preparedness. The participants included district, departmental and regional Service chiefs and high ranking officers.

Commissioner Ayalon said 400 tons of fire retardant had been used last winter, compared with only 200 tons used last summer. The conclusion is that there are more calls to put fires out in winter than in summer. The Service is preparing ahead of the winter season, in the wake of the major snow storm that gripped Israel last year. These are some of the steps adopted:

  • All the search and rescue vehicles in the Jerusalem district will be fitted with gear enabling rescue in snow and storm situations
  • All firefighters will undergo a refresher course on driving safely in winter

iHLS Israel Homeland Security

  • Israel’s Southern district is preparing ahead of possible events, including floods, roads submerged and clearing snow on mountain roads.
  • Fire and Rescue Service districts will operate according to on-call emergency consisting of four degrees of severity. Each degree will be measured according to rainfall and risk level

Meteorology Service official Avner Frushman spoke at the convention and said it was impossible to predict major storms in advance. The best anyone can do is issue a 10-day outlook, foreseeing the possibility of extreme weather conditions. Frushman also highlighted the importance of cooperation between the Israeli Fire and Rescue Service and the Meteorology Service.