A review of 2014

EVP Eitan 

Building on the success of 2014, 

EVP faces the challenges of 2015




2014 was a significant year for the EVP, a year which saw us taking big strides forward in developing and expanding the organization that will continue to meet the challenges and responsibilities approved by Israel's Government and emergency services for 2015.

2014 Milestones


EVP deployed, at Israel's request, teams of firefighters and medicalteam during Operation Protective Edge


EVP has been recognized by the Israeli Government as an organisation for the training and deployment of foreign volunteers to Israel in an emergency.

The Israeli American Council honored EVP firefighters who deployed to Israel during Protective Edge, hosting them at a dinner in their honor.


EVP Firefighter and Medical teams, who deployed to Israel during Operation Protective Edge, were recognized and honored at a 'Celebrate Israel Night' that was held by the Covenant Congregation in Dallas Texas.


EVP has expanded its leadership teams in the United States and Israel.


Very successful training's were held in the US and in Israel


EVP has expanded its relationships with many Jewish Federations in the United States.


EVP is implementing a pilot program for volunteers wishing to serve for 3 - 6 months in Israel.


US medical licenses have been recognized by Israeli authorities for EVP volunteers deploying to Israel as part of emergency deployment teams and for training programs.


EVP has deepened its collaboration with the Israeli Ministry of Welfare.


EVP has partnered with 4 new local Fire Training Schools in L.A, Florida and Baltimore.


Pat Boone and his wife, Shirley have joined the EVP's Honorary Board 

 Operation Protective Edge

Perhaps the central event of 2014 was Operation Protective Edge.  This operation, undertaken to protect the people of the south from constant Hamas attacks from Gaza, saw the emergency deployment, for the first time and at the request of the Israel National Fire & Rescue Authority and Home Front Command, of an EVP volunteer firefighter team to Israel's south where they operated with Israeli fire crews answering emergency calls and protecting property and lives. 


They were an integral part of fire crews from Sderot to Ashkelon, serving side by side and building bonds of friendship that will last for a long time!


These courageous firefighters, left their homes and families at a moment's notice and made the trip into an extremely hazardous environment where they were, 24/7, under constant threat from the next rocket or mortar shell. 

EVP Firefighters Ashkelon 2014
Video Clip: EVP Firefighters Ashkelon 2014
EVP Firefighter on Call - Protective Edge 2014
Video Clip: EVP Firefighters on Call - Protective Edge 2014

This is also the place to say thank you to their families without whose support, this would not have been possible.


During the team's deployment to Israel, they were the subject of a number of newspaper and TV items which evoked a huge response from the Israeli public with tens of thousands of Israelis commenting on the firefighter's courage and their conviction and on the feeling of support they gave them during what was a tense time.


 Washington Times 
Times of Israel
Mesquite News 
FrontPage MAG 
Israel Fire Service 
EVP Deployment Final Version MPEG 4
Video Clip: EVP Deployment 
TV Report EVP MPEG 4
Video Clip: Channel 2 Israel TV news report

After their deployment and before returning home, the team met with Shachar Eyalon, the Commissioner of Israel's National Fire & Rescue Authority who thanked them for their service and awarded each team member a certificate of appreciation.  The EVP was also thanked for its work and the successful deployment of the team to the various fire stations in the south.
EVP Volunteer Ben Arnold (LA) with Commissioner Eyalon
EVP volunteer briefing senior Israeli firefighters
Commissioner Eyalon presenting a Certificate of Appreciation to EVP Director of International Relations, Gail Lev


EVP Medical Team Deploys Immediately after Protective Edge

The EVP also deployed medical personnel to Barzilai Hospital and Medical Center immediately following Protective Edge to work in the hospital's emergency room, providing the staff and patients with much needed support.  So successful was this deployment, that the Hospital and the EVP are discussing ways to bring additional teams during emergencies and normality.

EVP Medical Team - Barzilai Hospital, 2014
Medical Team Members with EVP CEO Adi Zahavi


News Item in the Israel Times about the EVP team at Barzeli Hospital  

Battalion of Deborah

govEVP Approved by Israeli Government 

The EVP has been recognized and approved by the

Israeli government  as an organization authorized to recruit, train and coordinate the deployment of foreign emergency teams to Israel in an emergency (war, natural disaster etc.)  The 2014 deployments showed that there is a very real need for EVP emergency response teams in an emergency situation and proved that we have the capability, the manpower and the machinery in place to fulfill our task when called upon.


Expanding our Leadership Team

leadershipOver the course of the past year, we have been working to broaden our international leadership team in the United States and our partners in Israel.  This has been a vital step if we are to be able to recruit and train the volunteers needed and to maintain the EVP's momentum.

The EVP leadership team has been working diligently to provide an International leadership team that implements a well-defined volunteer program and accommodates the skills and abilities of all those who desire to volunteer on behalf of Israel. One of the main goals of the international leadership is to find an appropriate place for everyone who has a heart to serve Israel. 

EVP has experienced tremendous growth this past year and has developed with additional comprehensive procedures, plans and protocols to meet the constantly changing needs of Israel and to continue to meet these needs during difficult times.


EVP International Leadership Team

Billy Hirth, Coordinator of International Operations Department 

Billy is a 22 year veteran fire-fighter, Paramedic, and Technical Search Specialist for Texas Task Force 1. He has been involved in disaster response training and organizing for the past 10 years. Over the past 4 years, he has made several training deployments to Israel along with a

wartime deployment during Operation Protective Edge in 2014. He has served with the Israeli Fire Services as a fire-fighter and trained in Urban Search and Rescue with the Israel Defence Forces National Rescue Unit.  


Lee Ann Hirth, Coordinator of International Volunteers Department 

Lee Ann has been involved with FEMA in Texas for 8 years, coordinating disaster preparedness.  She has trained  CERT volunteers and EVP Safe Cities volunteers. Lee Ann has brought two teams of Safe Cities volunteers to train and volunteer in Israel so that they can be better prepared to respond when they are needed.


Tom Welch, Coordinator of International Planning Department

Tom has been a Program Manager since 1982, responsible for multiple complex projects and services in many parts of the world.  He is a former volunteer firefighter and EMT and currently serves with CERT and his local Disaster Network. 


Brian Strelitz, Planning Adviser and Honorary Board Member
Brian studied at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem before graduating from Babson College with a degree in Business Management.  Spent 10 years in furniture retail followed by an entrepreneurial career in real estate spanning both the residential and commercial sectors: construction, finance, administration, marketing and sales.  His experience in planning and implementing complex projects has been invaluable in his being the driving force behind the foundation of the EVP's South Florida Chapter.

Sue Welch, Coordinator of International EMS Department

 Sue is a retired Registered Nurse, having worked with post-operative patients and post-partum mothers, and having taught Childbirth Education classes. Sue is currently an Instructor for the American Heart Association and the Red Cross, and teaches CPR and First Aid to healthcare providers and community volunteers. She also delivers presentations on Disaster Medical Operations for a FEMA-based Community Emergency Response Team.


Scott Goldstein, Coordinator of US Training Department 

Scott has been a volunteer firefighter for over 20 years and responsible for developing and implementing training programs within his department.  He is a fully qualified instructor in many different areas of fire fighting including: Fire Officer I, II, III, Emergency Medical Technician, Hazardous Materials Operations, National Incident Management System and  Emergency Response to Terrorism.    


New additions to Israel Leadership Team


Eitan Charnoff, Social Media Coordinator 

Eitan was a volunteer in a Washington, DC area fire department before moving to Israel in 2008. Since moving to Israel he has been a volunteer medic in Israel's national ambulance service in one of Israel's most crime ridden cities. As a result he has vast experience in pre-hospital trauma care. Eitan is also a Lieutenant (Reserve) in the IDF Spokespersons Unit


Lt. Colonel (Reserves) Danny Lacker  Safe Cities Coordinator in Israel
In addition to his role in the EVP, Danny  works with the IDF's Home Front Command and  heads the Israel Water Authorities Emergency Readiness Department which has factored EVP Safe Cities teams into its municipal response plans.

Gail Lev, Director of International Relations

Gail made Aliyah to Israel from Los Angeles, California with her family over 7 years ago. She ran a successful allied health professions practice for 30 years and has been very involved in marketing and public relations for a number of nonprofit organizations in Los Angeles, many of which are affiliated with Israel, Israeli education and safety.  She also sits on many advisory boards. She felt her calling was to live in Israel where she believes she can have a greater impact and can continue to volunteer her time to Israeli causes. 


training2014 Training Programs - Israel and the US

United States:

The EVP organized and held a number of successful training programs in the United States, both for firefighters and civilian response teams.  Response to our training programs was such that we are planning to expand our training program for 2015.


In 2014 EVP formed 2 new chapters in South Florida and Baltimore, both of which held successful training programs given by EVP trainers from Israel and the United States.   We would like to thank the founder of the Florida Chapter Mr. Brian Strelitz and his team and the founders of the Baltimore chapter Mr. Gary Schif, Mr. Scott Wiener and Mr. Scott Goldstein and their team who worked hard to make these training's possible and were responsible for the coordination, logistics and preparations essential for a positive and successful training.


EVP Baltimore firefighter training - 2014
Video Clip: EVP Baltimore firefighter training - 2014
EVP Safe Cities Project Florida 2014
Video Clip: EVP Safe Cities Project Florida 2014

Safe Cities Community Responders Training - Israel 2014


Following the emergency deployments of 2014, EVP conducted another training in Israel for the EVP Safe Cities Program volunteers.  A team of Civilian First Responders deployed to the cities of Hod HaSharon, Ashdod, Ashkelon and Sderot to train with those cities emergency services


longtermLong Term Deployment Program

EVP is currently in final planning stages to implement a new program to bring trained EVP volunteers to Israel for a period of between three to six months.
This follows on from many requests from EVP volunteers who want to volunteer their services in Israel for an extended period of time and gain valuable experience and a deeper understanding of Israel and her people.

The program, which is being implemented in cooperation with Israel's emergency services and state organisations will, apart from air fare and personal insurance,  be fully funded by Israel.  A pilot program is expected to be launched within the coming months.

For more information, please contact Office@evp.org.il
patNew  EVP Honorary Board Members
Pat & Shirley Boone
Finally, but by no means least, EVP is proud to welcome as members of its Honorary Board, Pat Boone and his wife, Shirley Boone.  Their faith, their commitment to Israel and to the EVP's mission to provide support and protection for the people of Israel in times of need is a beacon to us all.
challangesFacing the Challenges of 2015

So there we have it, 2014, a year of tremendous advances for the EVP.  2015 carries with it many challenges for Israel and the EVP.  Events at the beginning of the year have shown how volatile the situation is and that conflict can erupt at a moments notice.  

  • Hezbollah terrorists ambushed an IDF convoy near the Israel-Lebanon border, firing antitank missiles and killing two Israeli soldiers and wounding seven others. 
  • ISIS terrorists killed 30 Egyptian security officers in a series of coordinated attacks in the northern Sinai.
  • 15,000 Hamas terrorists (aged 15 - 21) graduated from terror training camps where they learnt techniques for kidnapping Israeli soldiers and civilians, how to use attack tunnels to infiltrate into Israel and how to set up, camouflage and fire rockets at civilian settlements.
  • Terror attacks continue in Israel with the latest attack ending in 12 Israelis being wounded in a frenzied knife attack by a Palestinian terrorist on a Tel Aviv bus.
With very real threats along all of Israel's borders (including the ever present threat of terrorist infiltration from the sea), Iran's development of its nuclear capability, ISIS and other extremist organizations, now more than ever before, EVP must be ready to provide the solutions that Israel will need when the next crisis erupts. 
We cannot do this alone!

If we are to achieve this goal we will need to devote much time and resources to recruiting and training our new volunteers whilst continuing to deepen relations and training existing volunteers and their communities.


With your help - we can make this happen, we must make this happen - we will make this happen!

Adi Zahavi,Chief Executive Officer EVP
Emergency Volunteers Project (EVP)
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