The Student News Site of Pine Crest School

PC Paw Print

The Student News Site of Pine Crest School

PC Paw Print

The Student News Site of Pine Crest School

PC Paw Print

Lieutenant Aston Bright and His Journey in Israel

Lieutenant Aston Bright of the City of Plantation Fire Department returned from volunteering for the Israel-Hamas conflict in November. Lt. Bright is a 51-year-old firefighter in our community and serves regularly at the City of Plantation Fire Department. 


When the conflict began on October 7th, Lt. Bright felt that it was necessary for him to stand up for what he believes in. He decided to volunteer to serve Israel. Lt. Bright works with an organization called the Emergency Volunteers Project, and during his fourteen days in Israel served by answering calls for the Israeli Fire Rescue Service. 


This was Aston’s third time going to help in Israel, and he was passionate about the matter far before October 7th. In 2015 a friend approached him and asked him to put together a team of firefighters to go to Israel.


Lt. Bright told Paw Print, “I immediately said yes. At the time I had no idea what was involved with it. I just knew it was something I wanted to do. I know a lot about Israel. I have a lot of Jewish friends. I wanted to get involved with something bigger than myself.”


Lt. Bright’s first deployment with the Emergency Volunteers Project was in Jerusalem in 2016. The second time he was deployed was in 2018. He was based in the south along the Gaza border and had to deal with arson fires. 


The Emergency Volunteers Project partnered with the Jewish Federation of North America, and they come to the United States to recruit and train American firefighters to send to Israel in times of war or national crises. 


The ultimate goal of the program is to put more fire trucks on the road during a time of crisis and to help people know they are not alone. Lt. Bright said, “We show them the United States is a friend and ally during even the darkest hours.”


In the course of his most recent deployment, Lt. Bright was the team leader of his section of American volunteers. Throughout his time in Israel he was stationed mostly by the Gaza border, spending two days in Jerusalem across the way. During this time he and his fellow volunteers were on shift for 14 straight days. Lt. Bright said, “We lived in the fire station for our entire shift, and we just tried to sleep between calls.”


They answered regular routine calls and also violence-related calls. While he was there, he interacted with other American Firefighters, the Israeli Defense Force, the local Israeli police departments, Israeli firefighters, and the public. 


Now Lt. Bright says, “I had mixed emotions after leaving. I was happy when I left to be safe, but I was saddened by the fact that the people that live there don’t get to leave.”


Lt. Bright ultimately felt accomplished by the impact he was able to make to the people in Israel. He and the other 700 volunteers are now on standby should there be a need.

Lt. Bright wants people to check out to learn more about the program he volunteers for. 

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