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Trauma and Routine for Jerusalem’s Paramedics

While the brave men and women of the IDF protect the people of Israel, 15,000 medical staff of Magen David Adom serve the people of the Holy City. The Times of Israel's Luke Tress looks at these paremedics whose duties run from helping at schools to responding to terrorist bombings:

Two years ago, Jerusalem-based paramedic Hagai Bar Tov was called to the scene of a terror attack. A Palestinian driving an excavator attacked a bus, flipping it over and killing one pedestrian.

“I was one of the first paramedics to arrive and we started to do CPR, but nothing was left of him,” Bar Tov said.

Bar Tov, an 18-year veteran of the Magen David Adom (MDA) medical service, traces the current terror wave to that incident. He has treated many terror victims since, especially near his home in Kiryat Arba.

MDA medics deal with the mundane as well as the traumatic in their daily work. The organization’s personnel cover a range of medical needs as emergency responders, the caretakers and providers of the national blood supply, and as Israel’s representatives to the International Red Cross.

The group’s most visible role is as an emergency medical service. MDA, Israel’s largest non-profit organization, operates 1,074 ambulances in Israel and has access to two helicopters. Their white ambulances carry basic life support equipment for non-urgent situations, while the yellow Mobile Intensive Care Unit vehicles are described as “emergency rooms on wheels” and are staffed by highly trained paramedics...

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