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Israel Learned Carmel Fire's Lessons

Fellowship-funded fire truck purchased after 2010 Carmel fires (Photo: IFCJ)

In 2010, deadly fires spread across Israel's Carmel Valley. At that time, The Fellowship and our many faithful supporters sprang into action, helping whenever and however we could - including purchasing four new fire trucks, one of which is pictured above. Those trucks were put to use in saving lives during this past week's devastating Israeli blazes. So, too, Tevi Troy writes at The Times of Israel, were many hard lessons learned six years ago that saved many lives today:

The fires in Israel are now dying down, and Israelis can breathe a sigh of relief that the worst of the crisis is over. As focus shifts from fire fighting to helping those who have lost their homes, it is worth examining Israel’s response to see how the country has evolved on fighting fire since 2010. That year’s Carmel forest blaze killed 44 Israelis and prompted a much needed reexamination of Israel’s approach to fires. Many nations fail in response to crises. The real test is whether they can learn from failure and improve in the future.

In 2010, Israel seemed unprepared on multiple fronts, including evacuation, equipment and rescue operations. The worst moment of that fire was the death of 44 prison guard cadets who had come to evacuate prisoners threatened by the fires. Israelis had reason to question whether Israel, which typically responds well to disasters, had the capability to face additional fires in the future.

The 2010 fires took place early in Prime Minister Netanyahu’s second term of office. Early external crises often challenge leaders...

With respect to the 2016 fires, Israel appeared to learn the lessons of 2010 and put them to good use. While these fires destroyed more land than the 2010 conflagrations, there were fortunately no deaths this time around. This time, Israeli firefighters operated under a unified command, which alleviated some of the confusion from the divided and unclear command system of 2010. Israeli firefighters also had newer equipment, and Israel had hired more firefighters to prepare for this kind of eventuality. Israel also made sure that it had 14 planes ready to go to fight fires, in contrast to 2010, when firefighters had to commandeer crop dusters to deploy for fighting fires...

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The International Fellowship of Christians and Jews (IFCJ) funds humanitarian aid to the needy in Israel and in Jewish communities around the world, promotes prayer and advocacy on behalf of the Jewish state, and provides resources that help build bridges of understanding between Christians and Jews.

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