Photo Credit: AFMDA
MDA paramedics lead a Magen Project drill with local volunteers to ensure vulnerable communities are equipped and prepared to administer critical care in the event that access to the area is temporarily compromised. 

In the shadow of the Iranian attack and the ongoing multi-front war with its proxies, Magen David Adom is training community-based emergency response teams that will provide medical treatment to wounded residents of the local community when terrorists prevent immediate transport to area hospitals.

The Magen David Adom emergency medical response agency is also providing the teams with stores of medical equipment and connecting them to MDA’s National Operations Center, through which they will be integrated into a vast network of EMTs and paramedics.


Known as the “Magen Project” (Hebrew for “Shield”), the initiative is designed to address the potential risk in future military-style sieges that could delay the arrival of lifesaving care.

Lessons Learned from Oct. 7 Massacre
During the October 7 attacks, Hamas isolated communities on the Gaza border with heavily armed bands of terrorists, who targeted ambulances and blocked roads in and out of these towns.

MDA responded quickly by dispatching EMTs and paramedics from its stations across the country, but firefights between terrorists and responding police and troops necessitated MDA setting up impromptu treatment clinics until patients could be safely evacuated to area hospitals by ambulance or Medevac helicopter — and in some cases, injured people could not receive help until roads were secured.

By training a Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) and integrating it with local security professionals, MDA says it hopes to ensure that injured patients always receive critical care, even on the rare occasion when external teams cannot immediately get to the site of an attack.

Currently, MDA is forming 1,000 CERTs comprised of 10 to 25 members per team in areas where the threat is most imminent.

Some of those areas include cities in northern Israel threatened by Hezbollah attacks, Gaza border communities and towns in Judea and Samaria.

Emergency Medical Training, Supplies
Each team is being provided with emergency medical training and supplies based on local needs, according to Uri Shacham, MDA’s chief of staff.

“The communities are the best authorities on what they need,” he said. “We’re working with each locality in a very personalized way to provide the kind of training and equipment that will be of most use to them.”

Emergency medical training is provided on several levels. For example, MDA provides CERT members who are already EMTs with specialized primary medical care training; it offers paramedics and doctors advanced critical training; and it makes first aid, CPR, and bleeding-control courses available to all members.

In addition, MDA will certify two members of each community’s security team as EMTs, so that, when necessary, emergency medical care can be provided even when there’s a widespread threat, and access to the community is temporarily compromised.

Equally critical to the project, Shacham said, are the rescue and equipment vehicles operated by MDA teams.

The Multi-Casualty Rescue Units (MCRU) are 10-foot trailers equipped with a large stock of medical supplies to provide treatment for up to 10 seriously wounded and 20 moderately wounded patients. The MCRUs are designed to get supplies to the scene quickly.

MDA will also equip hundreds of CERTs with emergency response vehicles assigned to two to three CERT members.

Linking the Teams with MDA’s Network
Magen David Adom will also connect each CERT to MDA’s computer-aided dispatch system and create a detailed plan of operation — including the mapping of all equipment, medical professionals, and possible evacuation routes — and codify instructions on how to liaison with MDA.

CERT members will be registered in an MDA database and officially dispatched to medical emergencies in their community.

“In the event of an emergency in an isolated community, MDA dispatchers at our operations center will be in contact with the designated community medics, who will describe the urgent needs with the level of detail and speed that is crucial in such scenarios,” said Shacham.

“With resources and training provided by Magen David Adom, and full integration with our cutting-edge dispatch system, we can maximize the potential that already exists in Israel’s towns and neighborhoods,” he added. “Working together, we can ensure that our communities are always fully protected.”


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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.