The fire scouts in Israel were established in 1959. Similar to other fire scouts and fire explorer programs in countries like the U.S. and France, the Israel fire scouts are teen volunteers who assist the fire fighters, and participate in the "Personal Responsibility" program in Israel's high schools.
The aim of the program is to empower young men and women and give them an opportunity to volunteer and save lives with the fire and rescue services.
The fire scouts undergo a 50-hour training course at local fire departments, and study a wide range of theoretical and practical aspects of firefighting. During the course the young men and women learn to operate the fire trucks, climb ladders and deploy hoses, as well as rescue techniques and equipment. Additionally, they also study how fires begin, spread, and are extinguished; as well as how to deal with gas leaks and other dangerous chemicals.
On completion of the training course, the fire scouts volunteer at local fire departments. There they receive ongoing training from firefighters on topics such as rescue maneuvers, firefighting, and responding to fire calls. Additionally, the fire scouts play an important role in aiding firefighters to patrol and secure special events and large gatherings on occasions like Independence Day celebrations, Lag B'omer, torch marches and more.
As of 2012, there were some1,400 fire scouts throughout the country. While the fire scouts do not fight actual fires, they play a significant role in aiding the firefighters.
Additionally, many of the young men and women who volunteer as fire scouts later join the ranks of the fire department.