On May 30, the inaugural class of the National Security Professional – Emergency Management Fellows met with Lt. Col. Ira “Chezy” Deutsch, the Israeli Home Front Liaison Officer to the United States, to learn about the composition and status of Israel’s emergency management structure. Lt. Col. Deutsch, who has served in his current role since August 2010, delivered a briefing that contrasted Israel and U.S. emergency response at varying levels and conditions, and discussed the current, complex realities of Israeli preparedness and response requirements. Of particular interest was an explanation of the need to create the Home Front Command in the face of new Israeli preparedness needs that arose from the First Gulf War in 1992. Other aspects of Lt. Col. Deutsch’s presentation covered local versus national preparedness responsibilities, the importance of one common command/control/communications/ situational awareness system for all levels of government, and the importance and benefits of having citizens participate in emergency exercises.
“Two things from Lt. Col. Deutsch’s briefing really stood out for me. First, that all school age children in Israel are required to have 20 hours of emergency preparedness training before they graduate. The second was that Israel’s new building codes that require “protective space” in all new construction. No doubt these approaches will help Israel to build prepared citizens and resilient communities,” Said fellow participant Troy Taylor.
For more information on the National Security Professional - Emergency Management Fellows program, please contact Dan Catlett, Community Manager for the National Security Professional Development – Emergency Management Community of Practice, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 202-646-2734.