Bergen instructors training firefighters in Israel

SHOUT OUT: A pair of Bergen County fire academy instructors are in Israel this week training firefighters from Western Galilee in handling flashovers.

Photo Credit: Courtesy BERGEN COUNTY PD
Photo Credit: Courtesy BERGEN COUNTY PD

Chief Larry Rauch and Senior Fire Instructor Alfred Gerber of the Bergen County Fire Service coordinated and planned the visit — and worked with officials overseas to translate materials to Hebrew — in order to provide a Train-the-Train (TTT) course to 30 WGFD members.

“The equipment used for this training was first used by Israeli firefighters when they trained at the Bergen County Law & Public Safety Institute,” Bergen County Police Chief Brian Higgins said this afternoon.

They came away so impressed, he said, that they built an exact replica of the academy’s flashover container.

“Our instructors are teaching them how to use that equipment,” said Higgins, who is also the county’s public safety director.

A flashover is defined as “the near-simultaneous ignition of most of the directly exposed combustible material in an enclosed area.”

An example of flashover is when a piece of home furniture is ignites, producing a layer of hot smoke that spreads across the ceiling in layers.

The layers heat exposed surfaces of combustibles, which emit flammable gases.

When those gases get hot enough — ordinarily at 500°C to 1,100°F — they ignite.

For the past ten years, the Jewish Federation of Northern New Jersey has supported various exchanges among Bergen County emergency responders and instructors and Israeli firefighters, police officers, EMTs and others.

As Higgins noted, members of the BCPD Bomb Squad and K-9 units “have deployed on actual operations with the Israeli police in Israel.”

Rauch (bottom, right; top, left) and Gerber arrived this past weekend and are due to return on Saturday.




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