“Therefore we are not afraid though the earth reels, though mountains topple into the sea its waters rage and foam; in its swell mountains quake.” (Psalms 46:2-3) For information about The Israel Bible, click here.
When the Fuego volcano erupted in Guatemala in early June, creating devastation and disaster in the local communities, the ZAKA local volunteers were able to provide an immediate light search and rescue response in the first critical days – even before the international teams arrived to help.
This, because just four months previously, 45 ZAKA volunteers from the local community in Guatemala completed an intensive, INSARAG-recognized light search and rescue training. The training program was developed by the ZAKA International Rescue Unit in order to ensure local communities have the knowledge and equipment needed to work with the emergency services to offer a swift and professional response to a mass casualty incident in the first 48 hours.
Little did they know at the time just how vital this training would be.
The volunteers, headed by Rabbi Joseph Garman, the Chief Rabbi in Guatemala, include representatives from the Jewish and non-Jewish communities in the city, working alongside the professional emergency services.
The very scenario for which they had trained tragically took place – but at least they were able to use their new skills and knowledge to save lives and honor the dead.
More information about these training courses can be found here.