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December 28, 2018 11:56 am

Using Israeli Techniques, Aid Groups Train First Responders In India, Sri Lanka

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A mass-casualty incident training and preceding lecture in Gurugram, India. Photo: United Hatzalah.

JNS.org – The American Jewish Committee and United Hatzalah have been training emergency responders in India and Sri Lanka on how to respond to situations such as terrorist attacks and natural disasters.

The training started on Sunday in Gurugram and spread to New Delhi, where the United Hatzalah team provided lessons to dozens of first responders, followed by conducting a combined drill for the participants, utilizing Israeli procedures.

“There are a range of ways we work to promote Israel,” Shira Loewenberg, director of the Asia Pacific Institute at AJC, which has a humanitarian fund, told JNS.

Loewenberg said this particular initiative is “highlighting a strength Israel has,” which is the ability to respond to various disasters. She remarked that United Hatzalah has an “innovative and successful program” to train rescue workers.

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Doing so, Loewenberg elaborated, can “create good will” between Israel and other countries.

“Israel is not just about conflict,” she emphasized.

“It is eye-opening to see how emergency-response systems work in different countries, and how much we can share with one another and learn from each other,” said Dov Maisel, vice president of operations for United Hatzalah, who is leading the mission.

“The teams in India are professional and are excellent at providing assistance,” he continued. “They even had a few fire-rescue motorcycles, which are similar to what we use in Israel to arrive at emergencies faster.”

“We are adding to their already existing knowledge base,” he added, using “numerous styles of emergency triage and disaster management from a number of different angles. Our team is comprised of EMS experts, as well as some of Israel’s elite search-and-rescue professionals who have been at disasters all over the globe.”

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