Local firefighter returns from Israel

SILVER SPRING, Md. (WUSA 9) -- For one week, 28-year-old Jason Goldberg -- a Montgomery County volunteer firefighter -- embedded with Israeli firefighters along the Gaza border.

He responded to rocket attacks, slept in bomb shelters and picked up ball bearings and shrapnel for souvenirs.

"Living in Montgomery County most of my life, it's a bubble and I was experiencing something totally different where there are people that live in daily fear and this is the type of stuff that they're fearing right now," said Goldberg.

Now, Goldberg's back at his day job in Silver Spring. He works for NowForce -- an emergency response system developer that just released its SOS app to all Israelis for free.

"It's a one push button distress panic notification. You're instantly connected to an emergency communications center," said Goldberg. "So if I'm in Israel, somebody would respond in about three minutes ... Someone would be by your side within three minutes. That's the average response time."

The sirens are now six-thousand miles away, but Goldberg hopes the SOS app will help his new Israeli firefighter family.

"It's a code that's global, that transcends all cultures and languages. You're a firefighter no matter where you are. That's your brother," said Goldberg. "Hopefully this conflict will end soon and I can go back and hang out with these guys versus responding to incidents."


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