Photo Credit: courtesy, United Hatzalah
United Hatzalah volunteers and IDF soldiers training in Kfar Qassem, on November 26, 2023

United Hatzalah volunteers from the Kfar Qassem-Kfar Bara-Jaljulia branch conducted a comprehensive joint drill this weekend in collaboration with the IDF Home Front Command and local security forces.

The exercise, held in the Israeli Arab town of Kfar Qassem, was designed to simulate a missile attack, aiming to enhance the preparedness of citizens and security personnel to effectively respond to emergency situations in a way that was tailored to the unique challenges of the city and the war with Hamas.


The multifaceted drill incorporated a variety of scenarios to ensure a thorough and realistic training experience.

The volunteers were divided into five teams and received four reports of rocket hits, including some that turned out to be incorrect or inaccurate.

One part of the simulated drill focused on a school that was damaged by shrapnel, where the volunteers treated three witnesses for emotional shock.

In a second location, where the main scene of the drill took place, a three-floor house suffered a direct hit and collapsed, trapping five people under the debris. The IDF Home Front Command extricated them, after which four of them received initial medical treatment in the field and were transported to the hospital for definitive care. One of the simulated victims was to be pronounced dead, thus elevating the severity and urgency of the training scenario for the volunteers and soldiers participating.

“Dozens of doctors, paramedics, and EMTs from our branch participated in the drill conducted on Sunday night,” said Mohamad Amer the head of the Kfar Qassem-Kfar Bara-Jaljulia branch of United Hatzalah.

“Utilizing ambulances, off-road vehicles, ambucycles, and other resources, our volunteers delivered a prompt medical response to numerous emergency calls received during the simulated missile attack, and the exercise was deemed a huge success.”

Dovie Maisel, Vice President of Operations at United Hatzalah, noted the importance of such training exercises, especially in light of recent events. “Unfortunately, October 7th has shown us the wide range of scenarios for which first responders need to be trained in this country,” he said.

“We engage in various types of Mass Casualty Incident (MCI) training year-round, and we need to maintain our readiness for all of our volunteers. Often these training exercises are held in partnership with the IDF, and their effectiveness paid off in how closely the two entities worked together during Oct. 7th, which resulted in many lives being saved.

“During this time of conflict on a national scale, we have intensified the frequency of these training exercises to ensure our readiness for every conceivable eventuality as the war continues and develops.”


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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for, and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.