The new medicycle donated by the ICEJ pictured with ICEJ President Dr. Jürgen Bühler
By Nativia Samuelsen

Recently, the ICEJ staff visited the new central dispatch center of Magen David Adom (MDA), Israel’s leading emergency medical service, to tour the massive facility where Israel’s national blood bank is collected and stored. While there, we also dedicated a new medicycle the ICEJ has donated to MDA which came equipped with cutting-edge life-saving technology.

The MDA center

Located near Ramle, the MDA center is home to the world’s most secure blood bank, kept 60 feet underground in reinforced bunkers to guard it against attack by conventional or non-conventional weapons. The state-of-the-art facility also is where MDA’s fleet of ambulances and other medical vehicles are fitted out, maintained and dispatched for major emergencies. The impressive new building, with its medical research departments, huge emergency generators, and so much more, shows just how much value the Jewish people place on saving lives.

Yet the real backbone of MDA’s operations is its nationwide network of 20,000 staff and 33,000 volunteers from a variety of ethnic and religious backgrounds. Many of them sprang into action on October 7, with armoured ambulances repeatedly entering the conflict zone near Gaza to treat and evacuate wounded Israelis. Amid the heat of battle, MDA lost over 20 volunteers who gave their lives to save others, while 14 of its ambulances were deliberately targeted and destroyed by Hamas terrorists. Nonetheless, MDA successfully assisted approximately 1,000 injured Israelis within the first 24 hours. The MDA staff manning their dispatch centers across Israel also were flooded with 21,000 emergency calls that day, including distress calls from the site of the Nova music festival and the frontline farming communities under assault near Gaza.

One urgent call came from a young boy hiding in a closet with his sister in Kfar Aza after witnessing the tragic loss of his mother and hearing of his father’s death. With great courage and composure, he called the emergency hotline and calmly related his dire circumstances. Thanks to the carefully coordinated efforts of MDA and the Israel Defence Forces, the boy and his sister were located and rescued some 14 hours later.

Another essential feature of MDA is its blood bank, which provides blood to 87% of Israel’s civilians and 100% of its soldiers. The blood is voluntarily donated by Israelis and for several days after the war started an unexpectedly long line formed outside their national center of people wanting to give blood, even though rockets were flying overhead. This meant that IDF casualty rates were lowered by a third from previous wars because they could supply blood immediately to soldiers on the front lines.

A MDA staff member with ICEJ leaders

After touring the new center, our staff stepped outside to meet an MDA volunteer from Haifa assigned to man the new medicycle donated by the ICEJ’s generous Christian supporters in Canada. He is a contractor by day but spends his evenings and free time on call to provide emergency medical care as an ambulance and medicycle driver. He said that in its first week of operation, the new medicycle had already responded to over 10 emergency calls.

Shaking hands with ICEJ President Dr. Jürgen Bühler, he smiled and said, “thank you for providing me with this tool to quickly reach those in need.”

Our visit to the MDA national dispatch center gave all our staff a greater appreciation for their work and service to the people of Israel. In coming months, the ICEJ also will deliver two new ambulances to add to the life-saving fleet of Magen David Adom.

You can help us provide more life-saving medical equipment to Israel’s first responders by giving generously to our Israel in Crisis fund.

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