Rescue Vehicles in Magen David Adom
Advanced Life Support Services
The MDA fleet of medical vehicles is comprised of Mobile Advanced Life Support Units (MALSUs [Hebrew acronym: “NATAN”]) and Advanced Life Support Ambulances (ALSAs [Hebrew acronym: “ATAN”]), Standard Ambulances, Mobile Mass Casualty Incident Units (MMCIUs [Hebrew acronym: “TARAN”]), Command and Control Vehicle, Ambulances equipped with 4 X 4 wheel drive, All Terrain Vehicle – Ambulance (ATV – Ambulance), MDA – Helicopter, Segway, Advanced Life Support Motorcycles, and a Supervisor Vehicle.
On each shift, several MALSUs / ALSAs and white ambulances are on duty, whereas the other emergency vehicles are at parked at the station, or with drives on call duty, who are at home with the ambulances, serving as emergency personnel on call.
Mobile Advanced Life Support Unit (MALSU [Hebrew acronym: “NATAN”])
The MALSU crew is comprised of three functionaries: a paramedic, a physician and a driver who is also a medical emergency technician. The MALSU crew is usually accompany by an apprentice trainee or a volunteer.
The MALSU crew provides advanced life support in the field level. They are equipped with highly advanced equipment, including, among other things, a monitor, a defibrillator and EKG combined into a single device, and also some medications. In the MALSU they perform advanced medical procedures. MALSU s are dispatched to handle serious incidents, such as a heart attack, shortness of breath due to various reasons, harsh traffic accidents and various security – related incidents.
Advanced Life Support Ambulance (ALSA [Hebrew acronym: “ATAN”])
The ALSA is practically the MALSU without a physician on board. The ALSA is equipped with the same equipment as the MALSU. The difference is that the ALSA paramedic, who works according to same protocols as in the MALSU, must, in some cases, obtain through the telephone a confirmation for some of the procedures, from a physician who is on constant duty at the Integrated National Control Center.
The ALSA crew is comprised of a driver, who is also an emergency medicine technician, and a paramedic. The ALSA crew are usually accompanied by an apprentice trainee or a volunteer.
The ALSA crew provides advanced life support in the field level. They are equipped with highly advanced equipment, including, among other things, a monitor, a defibrillator and EKG combined in a single device, and also some medications. In the ALSA they perform advanced medical procedures. ALSAs are dispatched to handle serious incidents, such as a heart attack, shortness of breath due to various reasons, harsh traffic accidents and various security – related incidents.
MDA – Helicopter: Aeromedical Evacuation
In addition to dozens of MDA ambulances and MALSUs which make their way daily along Israel’s roads, evacuating the wounded and the sick to hospitals, MDA also operates 3 MDA – Helicopters designated for quick evacuation of the sick and the wounded from the periphery to central hospitals. The MDA – Helicopter crew is comprised of three functionaries: a pilot and two paramedics who had additional trainings in aeromedical evacuation and treatment. The MDA – Helicopter is equipped with 2 beds for patients / injured individuals. It is dispatched, where possible, on the same time with the ambulance, to the nearest landing pad, where the teams join, and from there the patient / sick / injured individual is flown to the hospital.
The MDA – Helicopter crew provides advanced life support in the field level. They are equipped with highly advanced and sophisticated equipment designed for aeromedical evacuation and treatment, including, among other things, a defibrillator and EKG combined into a single device, and also some medications. In the MDA – Helicopter they perform advanced medical procedures. MDA – Helicopters are dispatched to handle serious incidents, such as a heart attack, shortness of breath due to various reasons, harsh traffic accidents and various security – related incidents.
Command and Control Vehicle
This modern Command and Control Vehicle is used for command and control during incidents and for medical aid in complex situations. The vehicle is operated by a MDA supervisor who arrives in cases where medical reinforcement is required, or where road conditions require a 4 x 4 vehicle. The vehicle, one of only 3 vehicles of its kind in Israel, is installed and equipped to assist in handling exceptional emergencies. The vehicle is a Jeep with 4 x 4 wheel drive, equipped with state – of – the – art equipment which includes a telescopic arm with spotlights, to facilitate the handling of an incident after dark. On board of the vehicle there is a special camera which can be remotely controlled from the Center of Operations and which helps the Control Center in handling a mass casualty incident, enabling personnel to obtain a fine view of the situation. The medical supplies in the vehicle is ALS level equipment in a similar level of MALSU equipment. The Command and Control Vehicle also includes the option of evacuating a single patient in prone position. This option is helpful during routine times.
Tomcar – Ambulance
This new Tomcar ATV is equipped with two stretchers on – board. The Tomcar – Ambulance is kept on call duty at the station and dispatched to incidents where it is necessary to evacuate injured individuals from an area that cannot be accessed by a standard ambulance (such as the seaside, unpaved road, narrow passages).
The Tomcar – Ambulance is operated by a Magen David Adom paramedic who is qualified for this task. The Tomcar – Ambulance arrives to incidents where there is a need for ALS level of medical reinforcement or where necessary due to road conditions.
Response time is one of the most influential factors on the ability to save lives, especially in cases of respiratory obstruction, massive hemorrhage or lethal arrhythmias.
Short response time to begin the advanced medical treatment allows to utilize the Organization’s resources more effectively, reach the patient immediately and provide the patient with treatment served by an experienced paramedic. In many cases, the paramedic may also join the ambulance during evacuation, hence turning even a standard ambulance into a basic Mobile Advanced Life Support Unit.
Ambulances and other forces of Basic life support
A Standard (white) Ambulance
This type of ambulance is operated by a medical emergency technician, who may be accompanied by another medical emergency technician or a National Service volunteer.
The ambulance is equipped with dressing and Basic Life Support (BLS) equipment, providing preliminary response to the wounded or sick individual until he / she is brought to the emergency room or until the MALSU arrives.
Ambulances of this type are also used for non – urgent transfers of patients who, because of limited mobility, cannot arrive on their own to the hospital.
Mobile Mass Casualty Incident Unit (MMCIU [Hebrew acronym: “TARAN”])
The MMCIU is a portable equipment storage, with contains large quantities of first aid equipment. The MMCIU is dispatched to the field on Mass Casualty Incidents space or as part of providing security to an event which is expected to be attended by many participants. For example, securing live performances etc.
Front Command Vehicle (FCV [Hebrew acronym: “HAPAK”])
This Front Command Vehicle was especially crafted to meet MDA requirements, as the result of design and development by the MDA Special Projects Section. The Front Command Vehicle can be positioned on any point and serve as an independent Control Center, allowing control of MDA forces in the field, and providing assistance to the forces in order for them to be reach the injured individuals and render treatment for them, as quickly as possible.
The FCV is equipped with sophisticated radio systems, computers, telephones, fax and additional means of command and control.
When the FCV is positioned, it activates its four stabilizing supports (2 on the front, 2 on the rear) and raises a 15 meter high mast, which is basically a camera and an antenna and also a mobile lamppost allowing the Front Command crew to light up the area in any direction they choose. The FCV is loaded with special systems that allow MDA forces to work freely in the field, enjoying the most advanced technology even in complicated scenes.
District Front Command Vehicle (DFCV)
The efficiency of handling large scale incidents depends on command and control capabilities. This is especially true in ongoing incidents such as mega mass casualty incidents, fires, aviation accidents, train accidents, prolonged rescue operations during wartime and earthquakes.
In order to have control over incidents of this type, MDA has equipped itself with three District Front Command Vehicles positioned in the north, south and center of Israel. The DFCV allows simultaneous operation of a Command and Control Center, a Conference Room and a Communication Center.
The DFCV has communication capabilities based on cellular systems, filming and remote control capabilities and also the capability to provide power and communications infrastructure to MDA teams throughout Israel.
4 X 4 Ambulances
This ambulance is equipped with 4 X 4 wheel drive. It is dispatched to incidents which necessitate evacuation of injured individuals from areas inaccessible by standard ambulances (such as the seaside and unpaved roads).
ATV – Ambulance
This ATV has two stretchers installed on – board. The ATV – Ambulance stands by on call duty at the station and is dispatched to incidents where it is necessary to evacuate injured individuals from areas inaccessible by standard ambulances (such as the seaside, unpaved roads and narrow passages).
Life Support Motorcycle
This Motorcycle is on call duty. It is operated by an employee / volunteer for quick access to incidents mainly through urban traffic jams. It carries equipment according to the operator’s qualification: BLS for an emergency medicine technician, ALS for a paramedic.
The operator on call duty, drives the motorcycle around and is dispatched to provide aid in nearby incidents.
Club – Car
This vehicle is especially designated for stadiums. It occasionally enables MDA teams to easily and quickly reach and evacuate injured soccer players on the grassy field, hence allowing MDA teams to provide better treatment to the injured players.
ATV – Ambulance and Tomcar
Israel is characterized by a variety of geographical landscapes, including mountains, desert, the coastal plain and more. Israel has a relatively long Mediterranean coast and plenty of beaches. All these require all terrain rescue vehicles that can reach rough terrain landscapes in order to treat the injured and evacuate them to hospitals.
The ATV – Ambulance is equipped as MDA ambulance and positioned on MDA stations near public beaches and nature’s tourist attractions.
Exceptional cases, especially in the mountains and in hiking trails, necessitate an all – terrain vehicle with maneuverability much higher than that of an ambulance which can travel on paved roads. For this purpose, MDA operates a handful of Tomcar vehicles.
Mass events such as park performances, parades, demonstrations or even funerals are a huge challenge to the rescue forces, which are required to reach the injured individual through a large crowed, while immediately pinpointing the location of this individual.
For this purpose, MDA acquired small motorized vehicles, equipped with CPR and first – aid equipment, which allow the crew member to stand 25 cm taller than the crowd, make his / her way to the injured individual and begin with the treatment until the evacuation team arrives.