Magen David Adom Training, Holocaust Museum LA ‘Golf Classic,’ JNF-USA Luncheon

Israel is exporting its knowledge in emergency medical response.
June 9, 2023
“First 7 Minutes” participants practice applying pressure to a fake wound. Courtesy of American Friends of Magen David Adom

Israel is exporting its knowledge in emergency medical response. On May 19, two senior paramedics from Magen David Adom (MDA), Israel’s national EMS organization, trained members of the Jewish community in how to respond after an attack or disaster in the first seven minutes it typically takes before first responders arrive to the scene.

The program began with MDA Senior Paramedic Raphael Herbst highlighting the seven steps for responding to a crisis such as a mass shooting in a public setting.

“We know that saving time is saving lives,” Herbst told the small group assembled in a conference room at the Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles office building.

Magen David Adom Senior Paramedic Raphael Herbst. Courtesy of American Friends of Magen David Adom

Warm in demeanor, wearing a neatly ironed MDA uniform and a yarmulke, Herbst explained an effective response starts with ensuring your own safety. This is followed by calling for help and organizing the scene the best one can before emergency service providers arrive. The latter can mean separating victims into three groups: those who are walking, those on the ground and breathing and those on the ground and not breathing.

When calling for help, Herbst said, remember the dispatcher is “blind” to the unfolding crisis scene. He or she will only have the information provided to them by the person reporting the situation. Therefore, provide as much detail to the dispatcher as possible.

After Herbst’s presentation, a simulation activity focused on how to stop a victim’s bleeding. MDA medic Lena Beyer provided the small group with white, blood-stained T-shirts. Those given this apparel played out a scenario where they laid on the ground and called for help, while those uninjured were tasked with identifying the location of each of the wounded, even those obscured behind large objects such as conference room tables, approaching the victims and applying pressure on their fake wounds to prevent blood loss.

When dealing with external wounds, Herbst explained, practically anything can be used as a tourniquet — a t-shirt, belt or even your hands. 

The recent two-hour interactive training session at the Federation — titled “First 7 Minutes” — was one of several MDA held in Southern California during the month of May. In addition to L.A., six other trainings were organized between May 15 and May 23, including at the Chabad of Poway, which was targeted by a deadly shooting in 2019.

“This training isn’t just about learning how to stanch bleeding,” Herbst said. “It’s about seeking shelter while the danger is ongoing and taking immediate action in the aftermath of the incident to ensure first responders know where the injured are and can evacuate them for potentially lifesaving medical care as quickly as possible.”

Comprised of 2,800 staff members and 30,000 volunteers serving as paramedics, EMTs, first responders and first-aid providers, MDA has emerged as one of the world’s leading mass-casualty response organizations because of the frequent terror and rocket attacks Israel faces. 

The organization is Israel’s national emergency medical service and representative to the International Red Cross.

From left: Holocaust Museum LA board member Peter Best, Hall of Famer Amy Alcott and Holocaust Museum CEO Beth Kean. Photo by Paul Lester Photography

Holocaust Museum LA held its inaugural “Building Bridges Golf Classic,” a day-long event with a tournament, golf clinic with LPGA Hall of Famer Amy Alcott, cocktail reception and an online, silent and live auction. The May 22 program was held at El Caballero Country Club.

On May 31, Jewish National Fund-USA (JNF-USA) held its Women for Israel luncheon at the Luxe Sunset Boulevard Hotel. 

The event featured Allison Josephs, founder and executive director of the nonprofit, Jew in the City, and Variety’s Features Editor Malina Saval. They discussed their work for JITC’s Jewish Hollywood Bureau. The two women have partnered to urge the television and film industry to accurately depict Jews in their content as well as be more inclusive of the Jewish community. 

Event chairs included Marcia Selz, Laura Stein and Susie Toczek. Members of JNF-USA as well as Consul General of Israel in Los Angeles Hillel Newman addressed the crowd. 

-By Kylie Ora Lobell, Community Editor

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