Over the weekend IDF forces continued assisting the rescue and security forces with firefighting efforts in the Carmel disaster area.
Two hundred IDF Home Front Command reservist firefighters teamed up with the rescue and security forces in the attempts to contain the fire.
Reserve officers from the liaison unit enlisted to facilitate cooperation and coordinate between the forces and the residents in the disaster area.
Firefighter delegations from Bulgaria and Greece teamed up with the Israeli emergency forces operating in the disaster area. The IDF Home Front Command coordinated the integration of the various teams and took care of the foreign firefighters’ housing and accommodation.
Hundreds of IDF soldiers helped evacuate effected communities and special population assistance centers, as well as taking on various search and policing assignments.
Dozens of medical personnel including paramedics and doctors are providing medical aid and identifying casualties of the fire.
Extensive aerial firefighting activity was coordinated with the emergency rescue teams on the ground. The Israeli Air Force has been coordinating all aerial teams operating in order to contain the fire as well as operating 2-4 observational aircrafts to direct ground forces fighting the fire. In addition the IAF has been coordinating the arrival and incorporation of all foreign firefighting aerial assistance.
As of Saturday evening, December 4, 3 firefighting helicopters, 12 firefighting planes and 6 transport helicopters from Greece, Bulgaria, Cypress, Britain, Turkey, Russia, France, Italy and Switzerland had arrived in Israel.
The head of the IDF Personnel Branch, Maj. Gen. Avi Zamir, called up 200 reserve officers from the casualty assistance department to assist the Israel Prison Service. Together they have been notifying the families of casualties who died when a Prison Service bus caught on fire on Thursday, 2 December. All the casualties will be buried with full honors in military ceremonies.
The C4I branch is supplying full coverage of telecommunication systems to the IDF forces, emergency services, Israel Fire and Rescue Services and the Israel police operating in the disaster zone. In addition, the C4I forces are supporting VC, aerial video and IAF information systems for all rescue and firefighting operations.
IAF helicopters and airplanes, thousands of soldiers, hundreds of vehicles, dozens of eengineering machines and military firefighter vehicles have been operating on site since Thursday in order to assist in the rescue efforts.
The heads of the Education and Youth Corps were instructed to work with the Jewish National Fund (JNF) to coordinate IDF participation for forest recovery activities in the Carmel area, which will begin as soon as the fires have been fully contained.
IDF photos of foreign aid forces and all fire fighting efforts:
For IDF operational footage and videos from the Carmel Disaster area and IAF bases, click here. The first video: