As part of their graduation test and ceremony, 50 new United Hatzalah EMTs trained on providing emergency medical services (EMS) to multiple victims during a practice mass casualty incident. The training incident drilled the EMTs on how to respond to a rocket impact on a local school in Sderot causing tens of casualties. The training incident and culmination ceremony are part of the “guarding the south and Gaza periphery” initiative which United Hatzalah has undertaken as part of its Team Daniel efforts.
The training drill took place at the Yesodei Hatorah elementary school in Sderot. The 50 new medics will be working in and around Sderot as well as covering the area from Sderot to Be’er Sheva as part of the Team Daniel initiative. Team Daniel was founded by United Hatzalah and sponsored by the Chicago Jewish community in honor of Daniel Tragerman who was killed in the town of Nahal Oz when he was hit by a Hamas fired mortar during Operation Protective Edge. One of the major supporters of Team Daniel is Jeff Aeder a real estate investor from Chicago who represented the entire Chicago community at the event.
The United Hatzalah EMTs joined IDF medics and soldiers from the southern command’s medical response team to carry out the drill and provide emergency response to the mass-casualty-incident (MCI) which was enacted to occur in the school’s playground. During the MCI the EMTs and soldiers practiced treatment for a wide range of injuries resulting from the pretend rocket explosion and resulting shrapnel hits. Honor-roll students from the school portrayed the injured victims, and the exercise was held in order to train both groups of emergency response personnel in case a similar scenario occurs in real life.
With the culmination of the exercise, the United Hatzalah EMTs graduated their training course and were honored by a visit from the Founder and President of United Hatzalah Eli Beer and other dignitaries of the organization and the city of Sderot during their graduation ceremony. Eli Beer said during the ceremony “I am overwhelmed with emotion just standing here in the presence of volunteer EMTs who are joining the exemplary team that is carrying on the name of Daniel Tragerman. Team Daniel is honoring Daniel’s memory by continuing to save lives in his honor. I know that the Tragerman family is proud of all of the activities of the volunteers of Team Daniel and are standing behind all of the initiative that you have shown.”
Aeder , on behalf of the Chicago community, was presented with the husk of a Qassam rocket that had been painted gold, symbolizing the Team’s goal of turning war-time tragedy into life-saving work. Aeder said at the event “I want to thank Eli Beer and everyone here today for allowing us to do this. Team Daniel allows us to show our appreciation for Israel and to be part of an organization that is revolutionizing the way that people deal with people. Thank you for letting us be a part of that.”