Nov 29, 2022
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Chicago (September 13, 2022) — Representatives of Magen David Adom (MDA), Israel’s “Red Star of David” national EMS organization, are in Chicago this week to teach faith communities how to minimize casualties and save lives during the first seven minutes of a terror attack — before the ambulances arrive.

The sessions are being conducted by MDA paramedics at faith centers across Chicago from Monday, September 12 – Wednesday, September 14 in response to recent attacks on public and religious institutions.

The instruction, known as First 7 Minutes training, teaches course participants how to remain safe amid the chaos of a violent incident and how, in the immediate aftermath of an attack, to render critical first aid and other assistance in the seven minutes it typically takes first responders to arrive.

“You’ll never know when violence will strike, but you’ll know what to do when it does,” said Rafael Herbst,” an MDA senior paramedic, instructor, and the director of the First 7 Minutes program.

“Because of the sheer number of terrorist incidents in Israel, MDA has emerged as the most experienced mass-casualty response organization in the world,” said Herbst who became an MDA paramedic after his medic uncle was killed in a terror attack.

“I believe we owe it to ourselves and our community to be prepared to react and save lives if the unthinkable should occur. Magen David Adom are the world’s experts in responding to tragic events and saving lives. We are proud to be able to share this expertise with our congregation and the larger community so that we may all be better prepared.” said Rabbi Aaron Braun of Northbrook Community Synagogue that hosted an inter-faith training event at his synagogue on Monday.

Magen David Adom was invited to Chicago in the aftermath of the recent Highland Park shooting, which took the lives of six innocent bystanders.

More than just a first-aid course, the First 7 Minutes instruction provides participants with the knowledge to effectively and simply initiate care and save lives while ensuring people’s safety and taking actions that can best assist emergency first responders when they arrive.

Magen David Adom is Israel’s national EMS and  blood-services organization. Through its affiliation with the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, MDA also responds to disasters around the world. A leader in mass-casualty response and in EMS technology, Magen David Adom treats and transports nearly 1 million people to hospitals every year, and collects, safety tests, and distributes nearly all the blood to Israel’s hospitals.