| August 2013
THE EXPERIENCE OF A LIFETIME
Being one of the 10,000 volunteers in Israel working for Magen David Adom, we could really feel how much our presence was appreciated by the MDA staff, as well as by the Israeli public. Our time volunteering provided us with important life-saving knowledge and training, enabling us to now provide emergency first-aid such as CPR and pre-hospital trauma life support.
Following an intensive 60-hour training course, rendering us official first-aid responders, the Australian team was dispatched to Netanyah where we immediately commenced our first shifts. Ranging from seizures, strokes and dehydration, through to CPR’s, electrocutions and births, our team experienced everything. With the help of the drivers and medics, we got into the swing of things quite quickly and with relative ease. The more serious and traumatic calls were extenuated by the optimism and lightheartedness of the medics, thereby helping us to cope with the emotion and stress. Often overrun by the influx of Israeli youth volunteers, we would have to fight for our spot on the ambulance – but with the raising of our elbows and the application of some Israeli “chutzpah”, we managed to secure our places.
Our experience in MDA was not merely a one-time thing of the past. It has opened up the possibility for us to volunteer on ambulances and with first-aid-providing organisations back in Australia such as St Johns Ambulance. But just as important, it has provided us with a real connection with Israel, where we can come back whenever we like and recommence our work with MDA and save lives in our homeland.