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Prehosp Disaster Med. 2015 Oct;30(5):539-42. doi: 10.1017/S1049023X15005026. Epub 2015 Sep 1.

Operation Protective Edge - A Unique Challenge for a Civilian EMS Agency.

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1Magen David Adom (national EMS system),Tel Aviv,Israel.


During July through August 2014, Operation Protective Edge, a military conflict between Israel and the Hamas regime in Gaza, dramatically affected both populations. Magen David Adom (MDA), the Israeli national Emergency Medical Service (EMS) and a member of the Red Cross, faced a unique challenge during the conflict: to continue providing crucial service to the entire civilian population of Israel, which was under constant missile threat. This challenge included not only providing immediate care for routine EMS calls under missile threat, but also preparing and delivering immediate care to civilians injured in attacks on major cities, as well as small communities, in Israel. This task is a challenge for a civilian EMS agency that normally operates in a non-military environment, yet, in an instant, must enhance its capability to respond to a considerable threat to its population. During Operation Protective Edge, MDA provided care for 842 wounded civilians and utilized a significant amount of its resources. Providing EMS services for a civilian population in a mixed civilian/military scenario is a challenging task on a national level for an EMS system, especially when the threat lasts for weeks. This report describes MDA's preparedness and operations during Operation Protective Edge, and the unique EMS challenges and dilemmas the agency faced.


ALS Advanced Life Support; BLS Basic life support; EMS Emergency Medical Service; Emergency Medical Services; GPS Global Positioning System; IDF Israeli Defense Forces; MDA Magen David Adom; MICU mobile intensive-care units; civil defense; wounds and injuries

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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