Miami medical teams and volunteers at the MDA International Unit, continue to operate alongside local rescue and medical teams in the disaster area in Miami, medically securing the forces operating in the area, providing care if survivors as they are discovered, and providing assistance and accompanying the families of those missing.
The doctors, EMTs, and paramedics of the South Florida Hatzalah, many of whom volunteer with the Magen David Adom International Unit, were among the first at the disaster scene of the building collapse in Miami and provided life-saving medical care to the injured.
South Florida Paramedic and member of MDA’s International Unit, Michael Strongin of Florida who lives near the scene of the disaster and was one of the first to arrive at the scene, said (see video below): “We arrived at the scene of the disaster early in the morning and immediately began treating both the injured and the families of the missing. We established a special command post that assists the community in the field and treated dozens of injured in the first hours. I have no doubt that the training courses for disaster situations and the drills we have done together with MDA teams over the years in Israel have helped us greatly in preparing for an emergency. It is thanks to them the assistance we provide in Miami is professional and efficient.”
Andre Roitman, a medic with South Florida Hatzalah and a volunteer in the MDA International Unit in Miami, said: “Only when we reached the area were we able to understand the magnitude of the disaster and immediately began assisting, treating, and locating missing and injured in the area, along with the fire department. The forces worked in the field around the clock with great effort. Everyone expected good news and when they did not come, the feeling was very hard and painful. Even now we continue to assist the injured and continuously accompany the families of the missing. We always have hope of locating missing persons alive and that holds us together, even in the most difficult moments.”
MDA paramedic Uriel Goldberg, who arrived from Israel on Friday, joined the rescue teams there and recalled: “I came to Miami to connect the community and families to the forces at the scene and in Israel and help in any way possible, during the crisis. The rescue in the area is very complex, half a building collapsed and the other half could collapse at any moment. It is difficult to reach the trapped and the rescue teams are making every effort to save as many lives as possible. The teams work around the clock with great commitment, while being careful in a complex and dangerous scene and very complex field conditions.”
The MDA International Unit was established in 2007, and currently has hundreds of doctors, paramedics, and medics from various countries around the world, who came to Israel and trained in Magen David Adom, including dealing with an earthquake, treatment at a destruction site, war and more, so that in an emergency they will return to Israel and assist MDA forces.