Speed during a medical emergency is crucial as every second counts. This is especially true with regard to cases of major physical trauma resulting from any type of bodily injury, whether that injury is caused by a motor vehicle or construction accident, or from a terror attack, or something more mundane taking place in the home or while enjoying the great outdoors.

UH volunteers us a tactical trauma kit to treat an injured motorcyclist after a recent accident on Ben Gurion Street in Tel Aviv 744x1024 1
UH volunteers use a tactical trauma kit to treat an injured motorcyclist after a recent accident on Ben Gurion Street in Tel Aviv

“It’s no secret that arriving at the scene of a medical emergency quickly and having the proper medical equipment and trauma bag can shave off critical seconds and save lives,” said President and Founder of United Hatzalah Eli Beer. “Over the past few months, we have witnessed a sharp rise in the number of emergencies across Israel involving serious trauma. Therefore, we decided to provide each and every one of our volunteers with a new style of tactical trauma kit. These kits, albeit small in size, are packed full of lifesaving medical gear and bandages. Due to their lightweight and compact nature, the trauma kits will allow our volunteer first responders in the field to begin treating patients even faster. This will result in more lives being saved and the prevention of more long-term debilitating injuries.”

In the past four weeks, Israel has suffered several severe terror attacks, the likes of which have not been seen in the country in over a decade. “In some of these instances, United Hatzalah volunteers actually saw the attacks take place and were at the scene while the attack was occurring,” Beer explained.  “In some cases, such as the car ramming near Kochav Yaakov, the volunteer at the scene did not have his larger medical kit with him and had to improvise treatment to staunch bleeding while waiting for other volunteers with equipment to arrive.”

Beer gave another example of an improvised life-saving device. “In August, a bus crashed into a bus stop outside of a mall on Shamgar Street in Jerusalem. A volunteer of ours ran across the street, not having time to go to his car which was in a parking lot to get his medical kit, and began treatment immediately. He saw that a woman was bleeding profusely and he used his tzitzit to create a makeshift tourniquet. It is instances such as these that make these tactical trauma kits so important. Equipping our volunteers with these will allow them to carry a full range of tactical trauma gear such as tourniquets and specialized trauma bandages at all times, and thus, save more lives.”

United Hatzalah volunteer EMT Yosef Gabai, who was driving by the scene of the explosion on Weizman Boulevard on the morning of November 23rd, when the double bombing took place in Jerusalem arrived first at the scene to provide initial treatment. Gabai explained how the medical equipment he had in his bag was vital for saving the lives of the injured. “I was waiting at the traffic light and I heard an explosion at the bus stop right in front of me. I arrived within mere seconds at the scene and I found a young man who was critically injured. I used the bandages in my kit to treat him and stop his bleeding and provide him with initial treatment while reporting to United Hatzalah’s Dispatch and Command Center what had happened and requesting backup. At the scene, I saw three more injured people, who were conscious and sustained various degrees of injuries, I joined in treating their injuries as well. Having medical equipment with me in the immediate aftermath of the incident played an important part in stabilizing patients quickly before they were transported to the hospital.”

On November 29th, a terrorist rammed his car into an Israeli soldier near Kochav Yaakov. United Hatzalah EMT, Erez Shalom was at the gas station filling up his car and witnessed the attack. Erez was the first responder at the scene but had no medical equipment with him as his larger medical bag was in a different vehicle at the time. Erez called United Hatzalah’s Dispatch and Command Center and asked for immediate backup and then rushed to aid the soldier, using whatever he could get a hold of.

Tactical trauma kits can cut down response times and allow our volunteers to carry basic trauma care equipment with them even in cases where a full medical bag would be cumbersome or out of place, for example, taking it to work, or keeping it close by while driving. Having these trauma kits always on hand can tip the scales in cases where a person suffers a severe trauma and requires immediate medical attention. It is the ethos of our organization to always innovate ways to cut down on emergency response times, and this is the next step in doing so. This will help us save more lives on a daily basis.

To help equip United Hatzalah volunteers with trauma kits, please click here.