U.S. Fire Administrator Dr. Lori Moore-Merrell is in Israel this week participating in a series of international bi-lateral meetings.
Dr. Moore-Merrell kicked off the week by delivering a keynote address at the 2022 Israel Homeland Security and Cyber Conference in Tel Aviv. Her remarks focused on the U.S. Fire Administration’s role in creating partnerships for the fire industry, the role technology plays in protecting the homeland and the health and safety of firefighters.
“Protecting our nations’ homelands against fire and hazardous threats requires continued collaborative research and development in the field of firefighting,” said Dr. Moore-Merrell. “These opportunities, coupled with an establishment of an information exchange capability for operational training expertise and data-informed technology, will allow us to enhance our capabilities for predicting the incidence and spread of large-scale fires.”
Later in the week, Dr. Moore-Merrell participated in a memorandum of understanding (MOU) signing ceremony with the Israel Fire and Rescue Authority (IFRA). This new MOU between the USFA and IFRA allows the two agencies to work together directly and develop a work plan of activities for 2023, introduced by Israel’s National Emergency Management Authority.
The work plan will include partnership in whole-of-community firefighter support and leadership best practices. It also includes a commitment to participate in exercises, simulations and drills.
“The mutual sharing of knowledge and capabilities for community fire risk assessment coupled with methods for matching resource deployment to the risk will only help our countries protect citizens better against future risks,” said Dr. Moore Merrell. “Our continued partnership with the Israel Fire and Rescue Authority and the opportunity to collaborate on the development of workshops and exercises will also allow for an even greater resource capacity building activities. Thank you to Commissioner Lt. General Eyal Caspi for your generous hospitality and friendship, and we look forward to working together even more.”
The Israel Fire and Rescue Commissioner Lt. General Eyal Caspi further elaborated on the importance of the MOU and international collaboration. “Countries and firefighting services in the world face cross-border operational challenges that require the integration of forces, knowledge, means and technologies. Strategic cooperation in the international arena, as well as the Memorandum of Understanding with the United States, are required in the chaotic reality of a global climate crisis. International partnerships are part of the operational force building and its adaptation to changing reality, to provide an optimal response to mega wildfires and floods.”
FEMA, through the U.S. Fire Administration, continues to strengthen its international relationships and identify new ways to partner together, share best practices and ideas for how to better protect citizens from fire hazards.