PHOTOS: ZAKA Launches Firefighting ATV Unit In Memory Of Carmel Forest Fire Victims


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At a moving memorial ceremony last week for the Carmel Forest fire victims, the ZAKA Rescue and Recovery Organization launched its latest tool in its ongoing efforts to save lives in emergencies – three fully-equipped ZAKA Firefighting ATVs, part of a new unit established in memory of the 44 Carmel forest fire victims who gave their lives while trying to save others. The ZAKA Firefighting ATVs, donated by the Chairman of the ZAKA International Board of Directors Michael Mirilashvili and the President of the Euro-Asian Jewish Congress Dr. Alexander Machkevitch, facilitate easy access and mobility on hilly terrain and the opportunity to swiftly deal with the beginnings of a fire, before it begins to spread.

ZAKA, as a volunteer organization that improvises and innovates in order to offer an immediate first response, established the ZAKA Firefighting ATV Unit as part of the lessons learnt from the recent Carmel Forest fire tragedy. The new unit, which will make regular inspection tours of the Carmel Forest region and the North, will operate in full cooperation with the Fire Service, on the basis of volunteering or National Service.

The ZAKA all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) carry special 50 liter pulse water guns that fire a liter of water at a speed of 430 kilometers per hour (an effect ten times greater than conventional methods of dousing fires). Even with the first pulse of water, the temperature of the fire is reduced by half, thereby allowing the first responders to reach the injured to administer first aid from the supplies carried on the ATV.

Participating in the memorial ceremony on Mount Carmel were, among others, Deputy Prime Minister and Interior Minister Eli Yishai, Science and Technology Minister Daniel Herschkowitz, Chief Rabbi Yona Metzger, Chairman of the ZAKA Rabbinical Council, Rabbi Ya’acov Roger, bereaved families, dignitaries, police and fire officers, and ZAKA volunteers and commanders. Certificates of appreciation were presented to the representatives present from the countries which sent aid including the USA, Turkey, Jordan, Egypt, France, Spain, Russia and Kazakhstan.

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