On Monday evening, the IDF’s elite search and rescue unit known as 669 held an active drill in cooperation with United Hatzalah EMS personnel and Israel’s Search and Rescue Units. Volunteers from Beit Shemesh, Rehovot, Ramla and Lod, joined together with the helicopter evacuation unit of 669 in order to practice emergency evacuations under a variety of conditions in the field.
The drill took place in two locations simultaneously, simulating the need for multiple extraction points during a time of crisis. The EMS personnel were required to treat the “victims” in the field and prepare them for transport by helicopter, a process far more complex than regular ambulance transport.
Chapter head of United Hatzalah in Mevaseret, Ophir Ben Yitzchak said: “This drill was held to help hone our skills in treating patients in the field as well as preparing them for emergency evacuation via helicopter. We ran drills utilizing stretcher carries and placing patients in the helicopter. The IDF 669 unit drilled continued care of the patient as well as receiving patients from local EMS personnel and treating them mid-flight. I headed one of the emergency evacuation sites while Dotan Ram headed the other. The drill succeeded in achieving all of the goals we set out for ourselves and the cooperation between all of the forces in the field went smoothly.”
President and Founder of United Hatzalah Eli Beer said: “We are thankful for the opportunity to train or volunteers together with the IDF. Our continuing, mutually-symbiotic, relationship with the 669 Search and Rescue Unit has led to dozens of rescues over the past few years and many lives have been saved because of the incredible work that our volunteers in the field do in conjunction with their teams. As our volunteers arrive they can relay details from the scene of the emergency to the helicopter evacuation unit before they reach the area so that they know what they are walking into. Additionally, having our volunteers train with the IDF allows for an exchange of operational knowledge that helps hone the skills of responders on both sides and ultimately helps the patients receive the proper treatment much faster. That is, and always has been our primary goal.”
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