A paramedic in Israel

August 7, 2022 by Henry Benjamin
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Aryeh Myers is a paramedic working with Magen David Adom. He previously worked as a paramedic in the UK and tells J-Wire about the major differences he has experienced in working in two very different environments.

Aryeh Myers

“They are very similar jobs but the protocols we follow in Israel and the medications we use might be a little bit different. But the paramedics in Israel actually have more qualifications and more skills that they can use.

He said those qualifications include higher training in emergency medicine.

He said: “So it means we can treat a wider range of situations in the field and then the paramedics in the UK.”

Two major differences are the level of terrorist attacks in Israel and the Wish Ambulance, a facility he did not experience in the London Ambulance Service.

Aryeh told J-Wire: “In every ambulance in Israel, there are flak jackets or stab proof jackets and helmets so that if we have to attend dangerous scenes, whether that’s rocket attacks or terror attacks of a different kind,  the crew is always protected, and they can get into an area where they’re needed safely. There’s obviously a high level of tension sometimes as there’s an element of fear, but we have a job to do and we know that that’s what we need to be doing.

We have training in mass casualty incidents as these are things that we face.

We’re talking about the mass terror attacks, we’re talking about rocket attacks during Operation Guardian of the Walls in 2021. On the one hand, we’re dealing with COVID. And on the other hand, we were dealing with rocket attacks coming from Gaza. These are things that we face all the time. There was one event where I was dealing with resuscitation. We had a patient in cardiac arrest. And we were performing this resuscitation and whilst that was going on, all of a sudden, there was the red alert on the sirens with a rocket attack coming in. And we had to find the safest way for the team to be able to continue treatment for the patient. This is a very complex issue.

It’s something that, thank God, Australian paramedics don’t need to face but it’s something that we need to be prepared for.

So we took shelter in the secure room of a nearby house and that’s where we continued undertaking the resuscitation until the threat was over.”

Aryeh switched the subject fr0m the danger ambulance crews face to the satisfaction of offering Israelis the services of the Wish Ambulance.

He spoke of one incident when he was working with the Wish Ambulance. “We had a terminally sick patient who knew he wasn’t going to survive for much longer and his wish was to join in a family dinner at home. So we picked him up from the medical centre where they were being treated and cared for and carried him up a couple of flights of stairs into his home. They enjoyed the time with a family. A few hours later,  we took him back to the hospital.”

Aryeh doesn’t know if this service exists in the UK but he has never heard of it.

“Even though I’m an employee of MDA, any Wish Ambulance missions are undertaken are all done voluntarily. Whether you’re a volunteer or whether you’re an employee, the Wish Ambulance missions are all provided free by MDA.”

There is a specific wish ambulance that is specially equipped. It’s got hydraulic lifts. It’s got some extra pieces of equipment. It’s kitted out as if it’s an intensive care unit but it depends on S

Some of the wishes are carried out with a regular ambulance. It depends on the condition of the patient. But usually, for the ones who need extra care, there’ll be a paramedic with them. There’ll be an EMT with them at the very least, there’ll be two people more often than not. There’s one or two more plus a member of their family, and the patient can be monitored for the whole time he or she is with us.”

Donors to Magen David Adon can differentiate the paramedics in Australia and their counterparts in Israel. Dealing with terrorists and rocket attacks and carrying out special wishes.

Click this link to see a J-Wire story of a Wish Ambulance at work.

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