Israel Prepares National Gas Mask Distribution
24 December 2009 , 09:57
Preparations for the distribution of gas masks
The Mamtek gas mask has an extremely wide lens, and has a connecter to a pacifier and a bottle, especially appropriate for infants.. Photo: Anat Barkai and Shai Sakif, Bamahane
The Israel Postal Company will be working with the IDF to distribute gas masks, including a new mask for children, to all residents

Nadav Deutscher

The Gas Mask Administration of the Home Front Command will begin a comprehensive operation in February 2010 whereby gas masks will be distributed to all residents of Israel.  Contrary to past years, the gas mask distribution will not be carried out directly by the Home Front Command, but instead by the Israel Postal Company.

Residents will be able to collect the new gas masks in one of two ways. The first option is to come to a branch of the Israel Postal Company, and to receive the new gas mask for free. The second option, which is being tried for the first time in Israel, is to pay 25 shekels per family and have a representative from the Israel Postal Company come to your door. The representative will try the gas masks on the family members, and will leave appropriately fitting gas masks for each person who lives in the household.

Col. Yosi Sagiv, head of the Gas Mask Administration of the Home Front Command, is satisfied with the new distribution method for civilians. He explains that when a civilian receives a gas mask delivered to his house, “it is not a package that is simply delivered.” The Israeli Postal Company representative will make sure the gas mask fits properly. “We will put the resident at the center.”

Children up until the age of 8 years old will be receiving a new gas mask, dubbed the Mamtek (Hebrew for “Candy”), which is being distributed for the first time ever. The Mamtek has an extremely wide lens, and has a connecter to a pacifier and a bottle, especially appropriate for infants. In addition, the Mamtek gas mask has a breathing hole which works on a pressure system, and allows one to wear the mask for 60 hours straight without needing to replace batteries (as opposed to regular rubber masks, which can be worn for only 3 hours straight before needing to replace the batteries).

“We are the only country in the world that produces gas masks for children, and the children’s gas mask we produce is the only one in the world that supplies prime defense for this age group,” summarizes Col. Sagiv. All that is left is to hope that it will not be necessary to experience first hand how well these gas masks work.