Local firefighters head to Israel to observe how they deal with tragedies

Published: Oct. 14, 2013 at 12:47 AM MST|Updated: Mar. 2, 2018 at 4:15 PM MST
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TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - Firefighters in the Tucson area will get a first hand taste of catastrophes and big emergencies. A group of seven firefighters are leaving Israel Monday to shadow and see how foreign firefighters deal with tragedies.

Images of boats bursting into flames and what appears to be a bridge collapsing onto a truck are disasters Israeli firefighters deal with regularly.

Seven Tucson area firefighters will be working with "Israel Fire and Rescue Services" over the next two weeks.

"We train for those types of things but the Israeli firefighters are doing it day in and day out so again it's a comparison of best practices," Asst. Tucson Fire Chief Mike McKendrick said.

The firefighters are made up of five different agencies across the greater Tucson area. They met at a midtown cafe on Sunday to thank their sponsors. The $40,000 trip was fully funded by donations. The firefighters will learn how Israeli first responders deal with some of the biggest disasters and bring their knowledge back to Tucson.

"They respond differently, they react differently, they have different medical priorities," Tucson Fire Capt. Kris Blume said.

Blume is one of the firefighters going on the trip. It's a first and rare opportunity for firemen in the state. He's looking forward to embracing the culture.

"They have experienced it to the greatest extreme, they have responded and recovered from large scale national events and that's what we're going to go and do, is see what's not just common practice but the best practice," said Blume.

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