On Monday morning in Bnei Brak, a joint training drill simulating the response of combined emergency services to a residential building fire at a housing complex for disabled youth was conducted by United Hatzalah, Fire and Rescue services, the Israeli Police, the municipality, Mayanei Hayeshua Medical Center and other emergency and security forces.
The combined first response agencies ran the scenario of conducting a large-scale rescue during a simulated fire that resulted in a large number of simulated casualties in the “Beit Yahalom” housing complex of the Aleh network for children with disabilities. The housing complex is located on HaRav Uziel Street in the Vizhnitz neighborhood of the city. The rescue operation was conducted on and around the street as well as on the roads leading to Mayanei Hayeshua Medical Center in order to simulate the transport of the injured to the hospital. As part of the drill, mass casualty incident (MCI) protocol was activated in the newly established department for emergency medicine at Mayanei Hayeshua Medical Center.
Head of United Hatzalah’s Bnei Brak chapter Ephraim Feldman and deputy head Yisrael Alter, spoke about the importance of the drill: “As a professional organization, being prepared for emergency situations, big or small, is always our top priority. Dozens of United Hatzalah volunteers participated in the drill under the leadership of Yechiel Miler, United Hatzalah’s Operations Officer in Bnei Brak, and cooperated with the other emergency organizations, which builds the operational networks of all parties involved in the hopes that when G-d forbid something like this should occur in real life, communication will be easier and response times across the board will be faster.”
Brigadier Albert Monis, shift commander for the Fire and Rescue Department in Ramat Gan said: “The purpose of the exercise was to test the response of the establishment’s staff in the event of a real fire incident and to familiarize the firefighters with the complex structure and a disabled population in order to adapt our response to similar emergencies in unusual terrain. Three fire crews and the duty officer participated in the drill in which firefighters carried out penetrating operations and attempted to make contact with the source of the fire, which started from a bed in one of the rooms. Together with United Hatzalah EMTs, the firefighters evacuated the victims with sensitivity and cleared the smoke from the building. The Fire and Rescue Department learned a lot of operational lessons from the exercise and drew conclusions for future events. We look forward to additional collaborations in the future.”
Rabbi Yehuda Marmorstein, founder and CEO of the Aleh network, said: “I wish to thank all of the forces that participated in this drill – United Hatzalah, the Fire and Rescue Department, the Israeli Police, Mayanei Hayeshua Medical Center, and in particular the dedicated staff of “Beit Yahalom” lead by director Devorah Glauber, for carrying out a high-level and successful drill. We all hope that we will witness such events only as drills and that we won’t need to apply what was learned today in an emergency situation, but we must always prepare ourselves with professionalism to save lives in the case of a real-life emergency, and this is what we did here today.”
Dr. Dorit Tekes-Manova, director of Mayanei Hayeshua Medical Center said: “Mayanei Hayeshua Medical Center is an essential part of the response to MCIs in the State of Israel and it is responsible for the immediate and initial medical treatment of residents of Bnei Brak and the surrounding areas, both in regular day-to-day life as well as in emergency situations. Thus we are obligated to be prepared in order to provide the best medical treatment, and to practice responding to different scenarios involving an MCI.”
President and Founder of United Hatzalah Eli Beer concluded by adding: “It is drills like these that help keep our volunteers sharp and fresh. We have had too many MCIs in the past few years in Israel, and we have seen that exactly this type of training is what has made the difference between life and death for so many people in those instances. We will continue to train our volunteers together with the best of the best of Israel’s rescue organizations. I wish to thank all of our partners who made the training drill a success.”
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