On Monday, United Hatzalah together with the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) and Israel’s Fire and Rescue Department held a combined training drill which mimicked missile attack on a military base that resulted in a mass casualty incident (MCI).
The drill was held in the live fire shooting range of Mitvach 24 near the town of Rishon LeZion and included evacuation by IDF helicopter and logistical and practical cooperation between all organizations.
During the drill, the teams collaborated to treat some dozen injured people inside the base, whose level of injuries differed from person to person. Simultaneously, a serious head-on collision occurred between two cars wherein five people were moderate to seriously injured and trapped inside the vehicles, which had caught fire.
United Hatzalah first responders operated under their MCI protocol and worked to triage the victims in the field, provide treatment and then, together with the IDF medical teams, airlift them to the hospital.
Firefighters who arrived at the scene began extinguishing the flames around the vehicles and those that erupted due to the missile strike. They then extricated the injured from the vehicles utilizing specialized tools to cut open and pry the vehicle parts away from the passengers. At which point United Hatzalah EMS volunteers as well as paramedics and EMTs from the base began treating the injured. Some of the injured were evacuated via helicopter due to the seriousness of their injuries, while others, whose injuries were less serious were evacuated via IDF medical ambulances and jeeps.
Director of Security Relations of United Hatzalah Shmuel Avraham said: “The training drill was one of our most successful ever. We are always thankful that our partners in the field, both the IDF and the Fire and Rescue Department are equal partners in our training exercises. Our volunteers learn a tremendous amount from these collaborative drills, especially with regards to working under extreme conditions that we don’t see every day but are unique to our region. The scenario which was designed for this drill was something that we have had to deal with in the past, and unfortunately, we may likely have to deal with again in the future as many of Israel’s enemies look to attack our civilian populations and military installations with missiles. It is our hope that we will not need to use the lessons we learned in this drill, but it is better for our volunteer first responders to be prepared for all eventualities.”