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The Friends of Israel Firefighters (FIF)

JNF’s Fire Scouts Program Honors Memory of 16-Year-Old Elad Riven

The story of Elad Riven is one of true heroism. The long-awaited only son of his parents, at age 14 he, along with about 1,000 other kids his age, joined the Fire and Rescue Services for his community service requirement. After the requisite 60 hours of training, he decided to stay on as a volunteer firefighter, even paid for his own uniform, and helped to train others.

On the day the Carmel fires broke out he went home from school to help fight the fires. He waved down a passing fire truck and asked them to take him to his unit, but along the way they were called to help the bus of prison wardens that was caught in the fire. He died doing what he loved.

The Fire Scouts program gives high school students the opportunity to fulfill their community service requirements by volunteering at their local fire stations. This transformative program instills in its participants the value of helping others, shaping them into better citizens and better people. Volunteers learn that they are responsible not just for themselves, but for their entire crew, their family at the station, and the residents of their community. They devote about four hours a week after school to the program during 10th grade. Numerous fire chiefs and high-ranking firefighters began their careers as scouts.

Each volunteer must be outfitted with specialized protective gear, making the Fire Scouts program costly to run. The sponsorship fund will support and enable the expansion of the Fire Scouts program. A contribution of $1,800 will completely outfit one scout with state-of-the-art protective clothing that meets stringent safety standards, including coats, pants, heavy-duty suspenders, gloves, helmets, and boots.

Operation Carmel Renewal Conference Call

You can listen to the December 3, 2010 conference call between JNF President Stanley Chesley, JNF Chairman Ronald Lauder, an Israeli Firefighter, Israel’s Fire Commissioner Shimon Romach, Chief of the US Forest Service Tom Tidwell, and JNF CEO Russell Robinson.

 Download the conference call

The Israeli firefighters, the unsung heroes of Israel, are ranked among the best fire fighting and rescue services in the world, and are considered the number one specialists in responding to acts of terror. Today, with the increased vulnerability of the civilian population, Israel Firefighters and Rescue Services have become Israel's most vital security asset.

The Friends of Israel Firefighters (FIF) was established to meet the challenge of outfitting Israel's firefighters with the state-of-the-art equipment and facilities they need to continue performing their job of protecting and saving the lives of Israel's citizens.

The Fire and Rescue Services of Israel, with the FIF's support, provide vital services, saving and protecting lives and property in the face of ever-increasing challenges and demands, and responding to a wide range of incidents -- from terrorist attacks and hazardous materials incidents to fires and accidents. Their role as first responders in military confrontations has proved again their important role in saving lives and supporting the resilience of the civil population in Israel.

Further, with the proliferation of long range rockets in both Gaza and southern Lebanon, and the emerging threats from Iran and Syria, the possibility of immediate escalation into strategic warfare is increasing. Under such circumstances, the need for a robust and effective fire service is greater than ever.

The Need

The fate of Israel's communities and forests rests in the hands of those who serve as Israeli firefighters. These courageous men and women are the first responders to any emergency, be it a terrorist bomb or rocket, car accident, forest fire or hazardous materials incident. Unfortunately, the Israeli municipal and forest fire truck fleets are aging and inadequate. And as demand and population grow, security concerns have cut national budgets. As a result, many communities, particularly smaller ones close to hostile borders, cannot afford the new equipment they desperately need.

The people of Israel are blessed with the greatest fire fighters. These dedicated young men and women put their lives in danger daily saving the country's citizens. Jewish National Fund has taken a major role in supporting the Israel Fire Fighters.

We have already funded 53 compact trucks, 4 standard trucks and 1 larger truck, and built several fire stations throughout the country. Most recently, new trucks were deployed in Be'er Sheva, Western Gallilee, Hadera,Yehuda and Shomron command, and Rishon Le'tzion.

We are honored to partner with such an important organization, one that has made such a large impact on the land and people of Israel. Together with FIFF, we are looking at a brighter future for Israel's Fire and Rescue Services.

You can find out more about purchasing a fire truck for a community in Israel by calling your local JNF office at 1-888-JNF-0099.

Get involved and Donate to The Friends of Israel Firefighters (FIF) . For naming opportunities call your local office at 888-JNF-0099.

 

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