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Part 1: Firefighter Deployed to Israel

November 22, 2023

21

Fort Lauderdale Fire Rescue Fire Captain Jason Friedman answered the call for help in Israel. Just one week after the October 8th attack, he went on a two-week deployment to Israel as part of the Emergency Volunteer Project (EVP). In this two part series, Captain Friedman joins the Fire Headlines team to share his experience in Israel and why he decided to answer this call to duty.

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Hear a story of a Florida firefighter who answered the call for help in Israel in the latest episode of Western Fire Chiefs Association’s Fire Headlines Podcast.

Firefighter Deployed to Israel

Fort Lauderdale Fire Rescue Fire Captain Jason Friedman answered the call for help in Israel. Just one week after the October 8th attack, he went on a two-week deployment to Israel as part of the Emergency Volunteer Project (EVP). In this two-part series, Captain Friedman joins the Fire Headlines team to share his experience in Israel and why he decided to answer this call to duty.

Call to Duty

Captain Friedman was a paramedic in New York City during the 9/11 attacks. He lost six close friends that day and lived through the tragedies of the day and months to follow. During that time, he distinctly remembers assistance coming in from not only all around the United States, but from other parts of the world as well. Representatives from Israel, as well as other countries, were coming to our aid in our time of need. Captain Friedman says he remembers feeling comforted talking to these people and witnessing the compassion they showed the people of the United States, “for a moment, it seemed like the world came together.”

On the morning of October 8th, Captain Friedman was on his way to work when he briefly saw the news playing on the television, revealing details about the attack. Within an hour of arriving at work, he began receiving emails from the Emergency Volunteer Project seeking volunteers for deployment. Without hesitation, Captain Friedman immediately signed up. He scheduled a time to meet with his Fire Chief, utilized vacation days, and swapped days with his co-workers to be able to fulfill this commitment.

Emergency Volunteer Project

The Emergency Volunteer Project (EVP) is “a disaster relief and rescue organization whose primary mission is to deploy volunteer teams to Israel in times of crisis.” Captain Friedman explains that he was first introduced to this project in 2017 when EVP came to his fire station in Fort Lauderdale. He and other firefighters from the area attended training sessions that involved classroom and hands-on training for how things work in the Israeli fire service. The next step was to have a training session in Israel, but a heart attack followed by bypass surgery prevented Captain Friedman from going. He reflects that, since the incident, he never had an opportunity to go to Israel. The events of October 8th provided a compelling reason to go.

To learn more about the Emergency Volunteer Project, please visit: EVP – Emergency Volunteers Project.

In the next episode of Fire Headlines, Captain Friedman explains what it was like once his plane touched down.

You can email Fire Headlines at [email protected].

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