Photo Credit: courtesy, MDA Spokesperson
Numerous airport, security and emergency / first responders took part in the 'Eagle' Emergency Drill held at Ben Gurion International Airport on Nov. 30, 2021

Two hundred and fifty people simulating passengers were “treated” at Ben Gurion International Airport on Tuesday (Nov. 30) during a joint emergency drill held there for staff of the Israel Airports Authority, Magen David Adom emergency medical response service, Israel Police, Israel Fire and Rescue Service and other emergency and first responders.

The goals of the drill were to evaluate the emergency protocols and response, the collaboration between all participating organizations, including the Airport Authority, the Israeli Police, Israel Fire and Rescue, the IDF and the Home Front Command.

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The focus of the drill was on a rapid coordinated response including, rapid arrival to the scene, MDA employees and volunteers’ response to the crash site, managing the immediate medical care and evacuation, and more.
 
The drill simulated an emergency alert message from the control tower, received at MDA’s National Command and Control Center for a passenger airliner malfunction with 250 passengers on board.

What followed was the airplane crash at the airport runway upon landing. MDA medical teams provided medical treatment, assisting 250 simulated passengers.

During the drill MDA teams took patients to the MDA helicopter that landed at the airport and airlifted them to the hospital, and simulated the triage and evacuation of tens of other simulated victims.
 
MDA deployed 8 MICUs, 20 Ambulances, 5 MCRVs (Multiple Casualty Response Vehicle), 2 Paramedic Supervisor vehicles, Medi-Cycles, 2 Regional Command and Control Vehicles, the National Command and Control Truck and hundreds of MDA Paramedics & EMTs.
 
“It is a complicated drill that prepares us and our teams to be able to provide proper medic care and be ready for for a real event,” said Ziv Klainbart, MDA Ayalon Region Deputy Director.
 
“This is a complex and important exercise held once in two years,” explained Eli Bin, MDA Director-General. “It gives us the opportunity to practice the capabilities of Magen David Adom, Israel’s national emergency medical and blood services organization, by simulating an aviation disaster at our largest international airport, reinforcing the critical collaboration between the emergency responding organization and the airports authority.

“It is my hope that we will never be called to a live scenario and need to put our knowledge to use,” Bin said.

“If, God forbid, we will need to do so, MDA is capable of responding within minutes, with more than 100 emergency vehicles, including ambulances, MICUs, Medi-Cycles, command and control vehicles, and at the same time to continue to provide the response to routine medical emergencies and maintain the preparedness for additional emergency incidents. No doubt that this exercise is maintaining the professional skills of our team members.”

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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 Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.