For the First Time Ever, MDA Simulated Helicopter Evacuations from the Knesset Landing Pad

TEL AVIV, ISRAEL, JUNE 13, 2017 – As part of the annual national home front earthquake preparedness drill taking place this week, yesterday, Tuesday, June 13, the Knesset held an exercise simulating an earthquake participated by some of the departments and employees of the Knesset, the Knesset Guard, Magen David Adom, the Home Front Command, the Israeli Police and the Fire Department. During the drill, participants dealt with a variety of incidents such as evacuating the public, rescuing trapped individuals, establishing pick-up stations for healthy individuals and medical treatment stations for the injured, rescuing individuals trapped on the roof using repelling ropes, and for the first time ever, conducting helicopter evacuations of simulated victims from the Knesset landing pad.

MDA forces commanded and controlled the drill from the organization’s mobile command and control vehicle manufactured especially for MDA and equipped with state of the art technologies, enabling operational continuity even when communication infrastructures collapse.

Additionally, for the first time ever, MDA forces simulated evacuating patients in an MDA helicopter. The forces were required to lift the patient onto the helicopter, take off and perform medical procedures during the helicopter ride until its arrival in the Hadassah Ein Kerem hospital landing pad.

During the drill, MDA Director General, Eli Bin, explained to the Knesset Chairman, Knesset Member Yuli Edelstain and the Knesset CEO, Mr. Albert Zakharovich, about MDA’s technologies utilized in the exercise, the helicopter and the command and control truck.

Knesset Chairman, Yuli Edelstein said: “I understand that despite the simulated incident being very grave, the forces responded to it meticulously and I am glad we are in the excellent hands of the people of the Knesset Guard, MDA and the rest of the teams participating today. We are hopeful that these drills will only remain as drills and that we will never have to implement our knowledge in a moment of truth.”

In order to train in the best, most effective way possible, the teams utilized smart dolls that enable practicing artificial ventilation, medicating as well as other complex medical procedures.

Among other equipment, the mobile command and control unit is equipped with cameras that rise up to 19 meters high and enable command and control of a large vicinity. Inside the truck, are dispatching stations able to provide emergency response to a wide variety of incidents as well as a conference room equipped with advanced technologies in which an assessment of the situation was held. Above all, the command and control truck enables MDA forces on the field to use communication networks, Wi-Fi networks as well as the internet even when infrastructures collapse as happens in large disasters.

MDA Director General, Eli Bin: “Magen David Adom is taking part in an exercise at the Knesset combined with additional forces – the Knesset Guard, the Home Front command, the Fire Department and the Israeli Police. This is a national drill that aims to ensure optimal response to an earthquake scenario – an incident that could be faced by Israel that we must be prepared for. This type of drill provides us with the ability to examine the forces that will be deployed and will operate in the moment of truth, and therefore, in order to provide the best response we must exercise in the best way. That is why we’ve equipped our teams with the best resources and facilities we have available – a helicopter, ambulances, Medi-Cycles, mobile intensive care units, smart dolls and even a special command and control truck. I would like to thank the participants of the exercise who’ve proved that MDA is prepared for an incident of this type. We’ve also witnessed how teams utilized the truck and the helicopter. I am confident that these resources will contribute greatly to MDA’s response times to complex incidents.”

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