How well-stocked is the Israeli Fire Authority?

Five years after Carmel Forest Fire, National Fire and Rescue reveals great gains and improvements - but still behind US standards.

Tova Dvorin,

Firefighters in Hacarmel forest
Firefighters in Hacarmel forest
Flash 90

The National Authority for Fire and Rescue revealed statistics about Israel's firefighting capabilities Tuesday, on the fifth anniversary of the Carmel Forest fire. 

650 more firefighters have joined the Fire and Rescue service since 2010, now bringing the full staff to 1,850. 100 more are due to join by the end of 2015, and there will be an additional 2,150 firefighting staff by 2018. 

The number of fire inspectors will have increased by 50% by the end of 2015, as well, with some 280 inspectors expected to be part of the force by the end of this month. 

The Authority has also acquired 127 new firefighting vehicles, at a cost of 245 million shekel ($63.3 million), and currently has 360 vehicles manufactured within the past 20 years or less. Israel now has 14 firefighting planes and 1,400 cubic meters (49,440 cubic feet) of fire retardant material - compared to just 20 (706) on the eve of the fire. 

"As a result of the manpower increase, every incident sees greater forces at the scene than in the past, in order to reduce the damage caused by fire as much as possible," the Authority stated. 

It qualified, however, that "while the ratio of firefighters to citizens has improved, it is still low compared to Western European countries and the US." 




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