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Equipping Israelis to Fight Fires


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29 May 2019
Equipping Israelis to Fight Fires

Just imagine seeing incendiary balloons and kites soaring through the sky, then watching one drop and set your field on fire, burning your crops within minutes. These are the kinds of daily attacks that Israelis living near the Gaza border have faced this past year.

These arson attacks are not as frequent during the winter months, as it is the rainy season when fields are relatively wet. Yet as soon as the summer heat arrives, the fields get very dry, arson attacks multiply, and the fires spread rapidly. Therefore, there is a great need for better firefighter training in Israel’s south.

With all this in mind, ICEJ-Australia recently funded a Christian firefighting expert to come to Israel to share his expertise and training with his local counterparts. In March, Tim Wainwright, a professional firefighter from Australia with 25 years of experience, visited the Negev and trained firefighters, security officers, community leaders, and youth in fire safety.

Even though this was Tim’s first time in Israel, he skipped touring the Bible sites and diligently poured out his knowledge and expertise to the security personnel and other residents in the farming villages near Gaza. In the youth village of Kfar Silver, for instance, local students learned how to protect themselves and others in case of a run-away brush fire.

All the students who received training from Tim were thankful that he came all the way from Down Under to teach them, not only in the classroom but also via hands-on training with fire safety equipment.

“Our class listened to an exhilarating lecture from an actual firefighter from Australia”, said Kate, a local Israeli girl. “We learned about fire, safety equipment and different methods to extinguish fires. Living near the Gaza Strip, this information might unfortunately become very useful... It was really fun and interesting as well.”

Tim’s visit will surely have a great and lasting impact. One young man at the youth village said he enjoyed learning about firefighting so much that he now has a dream to become a firefighter to help his people! So small seeds were planted in the hearts of these Israelis, even while they are now better prepared for the arson attacks that are likely to come this summer!

Your support can make a difference in the lives of Israelis every day. Send your best gift to ICEJ AID today for our ‘Israel In Crisis’ fund. 


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