SSF was in Belgium and in Germany recently to help the local people who were stranded by massive floods. 8 SSF rescuers came from Israel to help, and they stayed 7 days. The first 3 rescuers arrived in Belgium on Friday, July 16, the day after the floods, and they were able to help local rescuers. A second team, 5-men strong, arrived in Belgium in the morning of Sunday, July 18 and they joined forces with the Belgian Fire Department to help them find survivors. Sadly, since Monday the 19th, they have been looking for bodies instead.
Arié Lévy, SSF President, says he was really surprised by the reaction of the locals in Belgium and in Germany when they realized that the rescuers were from Israel.
In Pepinster, the rescuers even received a standing ovation from a group of local volunteers and the local population. They were moved to tears. SSF teams were also deployed in Wallonia, near Liège. They helped in the cities of Theux and Verviers.
Rescue mission in Belgium, July 2021
The firefighters were really happy to be able to work with SSF rescuers, and they appreciated their field experience. SSF rescuers even took initiative and they led the rescue efforts. In an emergency situation, pragmatism and efficiency are key…
SSF also dispatched rescuers to western Germany, in Rhineland-Palatinate. In Ahrweiler district, in the city of Bad Neuenahr, our rescuers searched a basement for the body of a victim.
Later that day, they were called on to help a woman who fell and hurt herself, and they treated her. This woman only spoke Arabic, so our rescuer Gadi was able to speak with her. When the ambulance arrived, the EMTs asked Gadi to come with them to translate. Her husband heard that the rescuers had come from Israel; he said he was from Homs, Syria, as his eyes filled with tears.
While the mission was going on, SSF received a message on Facebook after they spoke on an Israeli radio station: “Hello, we are trying to reach our aunt who lives in Bad Neuenhar. We haven’t heard from her since the flood. Can you help us?” The SSF team looked for this lady and they did find her, safe an sound! We put her in touch with her family immediately. Thank you Gadi and Dani for your commitment!
We found this lady!
Mission report: SSF treated 9 people, found 4 people who had gone missing and were alive. The team also found the bodies of 5 people.
The last tally after these terrible floods was 200 victims in Germany and Belgium, and 150 missing.