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Israeli mass-casualty response group shares tips


CHICAGO — Medical reporter Dina Bair has some advice from experts who traveled more than 6,000 miles to impart the wisdom they have learned from decades of violence.

Coming together at the Northbrook Community Synagogue, the experts used the knowledge of the “first seven minutes training.” In the chaos of a violent incident, action is everything.

“We have to know that it’s in our hands. We can all save lives, you don’t have to be an expert to save life,” Israeli paramedic Raphael Herbst said. “Saving lives should be something simple, and we have to understand that every one of us can do that.”

The experts from Israel, who are with Magen David Adom, the most experienced mass-casualty response group in the world, know all too well what to do and why speed and skill is critical.

“I came from a family that my uncle was murdered in a terror attack, and he was a medic and I always wanted to grow up and be like him,” Herbst said. “And for me, the ability to save lives and helping other people is unbelievable. And the feeling that we get of doing good for other people, helping other people.”

Understanding the pain is what pushes the advocates to share their experience and knowledge.

“We understand how important it is to empower the community and when a community deals with a threat or with the situation together they are always stronger. So even if people freeze as individuals the power of the community is so much stronger,” Herbst said. “That’s why I think this is a very unique seminar.”

The group is planning more seminars in the area next week.


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