With Israeli firefighters struggling to bring Israel’s epic fires under control, volunteer firemen from the U.S. came without hesitation to help during the crisis.
“[The fires] were bad,” fire chief Rick Nessner from Combine, Texas, told CBN News. “I’ve been on some wild land forest fires back in the States, and they were just as bad as those. You see some of the California fires and such. They got pretty bad here as well.”
Billy Hirst, U.S. director of the Emergency Volunteer Project, said that “when you stand in front of it, it will burn right over you. If you get behind it, you can’t catch up to it.”
With Israeli firefighters stretched to their limit, the call for help went out on Thanksgiving Day to the U.S. firemen.
“Amazing how all the American people stood behind Israel when we made the call – from the firefighters to the supporters to the people who said, ‘How can we help?’ ” EVP founder and CEO Adi Zahavi told CBN News.
“Probably within six hours, we had 39 people ready to go,” said Hirst.
When the firemen arrived, they deployed throughout the country.
“Kind of hit the ground running as soon as we got here,” said Jacob Windell, with the L.A. County Fire Department. “We started going out on calls right away. We were able to help out with some wild land fires, with some structural, apartment fires, as well as going on routine calls.”
“We were stationed all the way from Ashdod to Haifa,” Hirst said.
Some of the American firefighters came during big moments in their lives.
“Just before I came, I proposed to my girlfriend so she is now my fiancé, Kathleen Humphries, and we’ve been doing wedding planning over the phone,” said Benjamin Arnold of the L.A. County Fire Department.Jewish Press Staff