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29-11-12 , 12:32



For the first time in eight days, the MDA workers, first responders and volunteers stayed at home and at work and not in the MDA stations*  With the announcement of a cease fire, MDA sums up the eight days of activities around the clock, saving lives, whether in the area around Gaza or in the settlements in the centre of the country who were hit by fire from Gaza*  419  injured people were treated by MDA teams during the Operation, hundreds of ambulances travelled all over the south and centre of the country and thousands of workers, first responders and volunteers were busy just with saving lives



MDA sums up the Operation "Pillar of Defense":  For the eight days of the Operation, MDA forces worked all over the areas of the country that were in range of the rockets and treated more than 419 injured people, including 20 soldiers, including Mira Sharf z"l, Aharon Smadja z"l and Izik Amsallem z"l, who were killed as a result of a Grad missile hitting a residential building in Kiryat Malachi on the second day of the Operation.  The State of Israel lost another three people during the Operation,  when Lieutenant Boris Yarmolski z"l, Corporal Yosef Partuk z"l, and a citizen working for the IDF, Alian Al Nabari z"l were killed.


During the days of the Operation, MDA teams worked on hundreds of ambulances which travelled to thousands of calls that were received in various Dispatch Centres throughout the country.  MDA Dispatch Centres in the South and centre of the country moved and worked from a protected area in order to give a full response at the time of alerts and falling missiles.


The six most severely injured people during the Operation, were all injured by rockets in different places:  in Ashkelon, a man of 50 was severely injured by a rocket attack and was taken to hospital suffering from amputation of his foot, in Ofakim a rocket hit a car and a passenger that was inside the car was severely injured, in the Zeelim area, a 43 year old man was severely injured when hit by a rocket and was taken to hospital having been injured by shrapnel in the upper part of his body.  Three additional soldiers were severely injured and were also taken for further treatment in hospital.


In addition, MDA teams treated 4 people who were moderately injured by falling rockets, including a man and a one year old child who were injured by shrapnel in the fatal incident in Kiryat Malachi.  An addition person was injured in the rocket attack on a car in Ofakim, and a 34 year old fireman was moderately injured in Shaar Hanegev and taken to hospital suffering from shrapnel wounds in his head.


47 people, including 16 soldiers were lightly wounded as a result of the rocket attacks and were treated by MDA during the days of the Operation.  In addition MDA teams treated 54 people who were injured during the time of alerts, most of the citizens who fell and were wounded whilst running to the bomb shelters.


Most of the wounded who were treated by MDA teams during the Operation were suffering from anxiety attacks.  More than 300 people suffering from panic and anxiety were treated in the different settlements – whether in the South, or in the centre of the country or in Jerusalem.  MDA teams gave dedicated treatment to all those suffering from anxiety and took them to the Centre for those suffering anxiety or to hospital depending on their condition.  One of the people suffering from anxiety who was treated during the operation was an 83 year old man, inhabitant of Holon, who lost consciousness after complaining of chest pains during one of the sirens that was heard in the city.  After lengthy CPR, the MDA team transported him for further treatment in Wolfson Hospital in Holon.


During the entire Operation, MDA forces maintained a high level of alert also in the other areas of the country, and yesterday afternoon (Wednesday, 21.11) it became clear that this alert was a necessity, when a terrorist attack occurred on a bus travelling on Shaul Hamelech Street in Tel Aviv.  As a result of the explosion that occurred on the bus, 17 passengers were injured, including 1 in a moderate to severe condition, 3 in a moderate condition and seven who were lightly wounded.  The rest were suffering from anxiety attacks.  MDA teams, who were rushed to the scene within seconds of the explosion, declared a Multi Casualty Incident on the scene, treated the wounded and transported them for further care in Ichilov Hospital in the city.


The many MDA teams who worked in Operation "Pillar of Defense" understood that they were not working alone.  Many First Responders from all over the country came and asked to volunteer side by side with the MDA teams.  The MDA reserve unit also came to give additional help, and many delegations from all over the world came to help the teams working in the field.  Amongst others, help came from the Swiss Red Cross who approached MDA and asked to help, and also a delegation of Paramedics from the USA landed in Israel and joined the MDA teams in the South in life saving activities.


For the MDA teams living in the South, this was an even greater task, since they were forced to leave their families alone, and go out into the field to save lives during alerts and when rockets fell.  In this the MDA management helped and took the families of MDA workers and volunteers out for refresher days and a break in the Ramon Hotel in Mitzpe Ramon, in order to enable them to rest from the threat of rockets and to allow the workers and volunteers to work "with an easy mind" and without having to worry about their families at home.


During the entire Operation, Ministers, MKS, Mayors and many business people visited the MDA Regional Dispatch centre in Ashdod.  They came to see from close up the life saving activities of the MDA teams.  Amongst other who visited the Dispatch centre were, Minister of Finance, Dr. Yuval Steinitz, Minister of Interior, Rabbi Eli Yishai, Rabbi Aryeh Deri one of the leaders of the Shas party, MK Otniel Shneller, MK Shaul Mofaz, MK Rachel Adato, businessmen Rami Levi and Eitan Yochannof, Mayors in the south and more.  All were given a special review of the activities of MDA during the Operation and gave great praise to the abilities of the National Rescue Organisation of Israel.  "You enable  the חוסן לאומי  and the continued activities of the IDF" said Minister of Finance, Dr. Yuval Steinitz on leaving the Dispatch Centre. 


Also at the end of the Operation, MDA teams are receiving high praises from the senior decision makers in Israel.  The Prime Minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, today referred in his speech to the activities of MDA during the Operation and said:  "and I would like to thank you in the name of all the citizens of Israel.  I would like to thank the commander of the Fire Brigade and those fighting fire, to the people of MDA under the leadership of Eli Bin.  The treatment on the Home Front looks different, and I  thank and praise you for that".  Also the Minister for Homeland Security, Yitzchak Aharonovitz, today praised all the MDA teams.


MDA Director General, Eli Bin, who stayed at the side of the forces during all the days of fighting and was in charge close up of the rescue activities, today thanked all the workers, volunteers and First Responders of MDA for their devoted work in a personal message.  "MDA Workers and volunteers and the reinforced teams, I would like to thank each and every one of you, who worked day and night in order to save lives and to protect the health and safety of the inhabitants of the State of Israel.  Each one in his own field did his part in supporting Israel, with the swift and professional response to many events, in increasing the supplies of blood and delivering it, in keeping up the level of alert etc.  Once again you have proved that also in times of emergency, MDA teams are ready and prepared standing side by side with the citizens of Israel and working should to shoulder with the additional security forces – and for that I thank you.  Please G-d we should have peaceful and quiet days very quickly"  words of the MDA Director General.


MDA was in close contact with the IDF, the Israel Police Force, government offices and the Security Services throughout all the days of the Operation, in order to give the fullest response to the Home Front and to maintain as far as possible the safety of the citizens and the MDA personnel during their activities.


MDA Director General: "throughout the past eight days, MDA teams have once again proved that in times of emergency the Israeli public can rely on the best rescue force which is at your call and gives a full, high quality and professional response to all medical need that may arise.  This is proved by the hundreds of thanks that the MDA teams have received during the activities.  I would like to thank all the MDA teams who took part in this task, to the many volunteers who came to help, to all those workers, volunteers and First Responders who had to leave their families in a protected bomb shelter and go out to save lives, to the teams of phlebotomists who worked around the clock to maintain the blood supplies of Israel.  Thus is the true strength and  power of the State measured.  Let us pray that we should all have days of peace and security wherever we may be.  Thank you one and all".


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