Magen David Adom, Israel’s world-renown emergency medical and mass-casualty response organization, has long made sharing its knowledge and experience with the world a priority.
One of the ways that goal is achieved is to provide trainings around the world for medical professionals and lay people.
The First 7 Minutes is a seminar offered by MDA’s most experienced paramedics and instructors to provide civilians with the tools they need to stay safe and save lives in the chaotic period between an armed attack and the seven minutes it typically takes for EMTs and other first responders to arrive to the scene.
“You’ll never know when violence will strike, but you’ll know what to do when it does,” said Rafael Herbst,” an MDA senior paramedic and instructor, and the director of the First 7 Minutes program.
“Because of the sheer number of terrorist incidents in Israel, MDA has emerged as the most experienced mass-casualty response organization in the world,” said Herbst.
Following recent armed attacks here against religious, academic, and other institutions, the need to better train people to protect themselves and render aid to others has become urgent.
In the aftermath of the July 4th shooting in Highland Park, a suburb of Chicago, and with the coming of the Jewish High Holidays, MDA was asked to conduct emergency-response training for religious institutions across Chicago. The interfaith trainings, led by Herbst, will be held over three days from Monday, September 12 – Wednesday, September 14. One session, hosted by the Israel and Mexican Consulates, will even be conducted in Spanish for the Latino community.
In the four-hour training, participants will learn lifesaving techniques, such as stopping the bleeding, and how to classify urgent and non-urgent injuries. Following a 60-90-minute lecture, they will be put through a series of drills to reinforce the knowledge that has been imparted.
Much of the training, including the first-aid instruction and emphasis on safety and needs prioritization, is also applicable to other emergency situations, such as building collapses, fires, and natural disasters, providing course participants with skills and confidence critical for a variety of situations.