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November 26, 2015 8:38 am

Israeli Trauma Specialists Train French First-Responders to Treat Terror Victims

avatar by Shiryn Ghermezian

The HyperCacher market seized by Islamist terrorist Amedy Coulibaly. Photo: Twitter

The HyperCacher market that was seized by Islamist terrorist Amedy Coulibaly. Photo: Twitter

Members of the Israel Trauma Coalition (ITC) have been training first-responders in France to treat terror victims, the innovation news site Israel21C reported on Tuesday.

After the deadly attack at the Hyper Cacher kosher supermarket in January, ITC used a $65,000 grant from the UJA Federation of New York to send two Israeli experts to Paris to start a training program. These were Ruvie Rogel, from the Community Stress Prevention Center, and Tel Hai College Prof. Mooli Lahad, a specialist in treating psychotrauma through drama and bibliotherapy.

French mental-health professionals from OSE, the largest Jewish welfare organization in Paris, were among the 80 people trained by the ITC. Following this month’s Paris attacks, the French first-responders used their training to offer terror victims psychotrauma interventions in hospitals, according to Israel21C.

ITC Director Talia Levanon told the online publication that Israel’s experience with the psychological effects of terrorism provides expertise that can be shared with foreign professionals who may be more accustomed to dealing with isolated incidents.

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“Like people in Israel, the French are getting ready for long-time duress, which requires a different approach,” Levanon said. “In Israel, we know there is no safe place or time, and I think now people in France understand this. They understand they are very vulnerable.”

The ITC is currently looking to expand its training programs in France. The coalition made a proposal to the French government for an array of post-trauma services, which include preparing school staff to deal with emergencies and their impact on students; teaching hospital personnel how to organize information on casualties and provide it to families; training hospital support teams on short-term interventions for psychological trauma caused by terrorism; training first-responders such as police, firefighters and emergency medical technicians; and introducing Israeli-style resilience and emergency preparedness centers to the city of Paris.

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