Magen David Adom (MDA) Emergency Response Services play a crucial role in enabling Israeli society's capacity to cope with the challenges to survival faced by both its civilian population and IDF soldiers. MDA is mandated by the Israeli government to provide pre-hospital emergency medical care all over the country, including disaster, ambulance and blood services.
MDA paramedics were in the midst of fire again just a few days ago, responding in record time as terrorists launched 600 rockets and missiles into southern Israel, mostly aimed at civilian areas.
And despite threats to their personal safety as rockets continued to fly overhead, with Iron Dome able to intercept most but not all of them, courageous MDA paramedics treated more than 100 people in Southern Israel and sadly, confirmed the deaths of four civilians.
Israelis gain immeasurable confidence from knowing they can rely on the emergency response service of MDA paramedics and volunteers. And those brave paramedics know that worldwide MDA Friend Societies have their back.
While Israel provides the dedicated personnel, the high level of their service is the result of a longtime partnership with American Friends of Magen David Adom (AFMDA) and all the Friend MDA Societies around the world. This lifeline is the basis of the service's ability to keep up with the needs of Israel's growing population and ensure state-of-the-art emergency service technology.
Blood services are indispensable to successful emergency aid, so anticipating how population growth will increase the need for blood, AFMDA has begun building a new Marcus National Blood Service Center in the central Israel city of Ramle. Spreading over 5.5 acres, it will make it possible for MDA to continue to serve 100% of the IDF blood needs and 90% of those of Israel's civilian population, adding much needed capacity to the existing MDA blood center at Tel Hashomer hospital that was dedicated back in 1988.
Seymour Brief, board member of American Friends of MDA, deserves part of the credit for AFMDA's decision to plan for the future – and for seeing that MDA has the means to have those plans come to fruition. He and his wife Elaine recently took time off from visiting their son and his family - who made aliya and live in Jerusalem - to go down to Ramle and see for themselves where the center is going to be located. There, Moshe Noyovich, chief engineer for American MDA at the construction site, gave them an up-to-date progress report. "We were really excited to see where this important health service to Israelis is going to be," Brief, known as Sy to his friends, told Arutz Sheva. "It filled us with the strength to make sure it becomes reality asap."
More than 90 million dollars have been donated for this project by Americans whose love of Israel and feeling of unity with its citizens are expressed in saving lives.
Israel's relations with Diaspora Jewry are the topic of a good many meetings, lectures and conferences over the last few months. The problems are real, but proof of the depth of that relationship is epitomized by the AFMDA's ceaseless efforts to improve the emergency services that save lives in the Jewish state. As we remember our beloved fallen soldiers and terror victims, going on to celebrating the establishment of the thriving state for which they gave their lives, Israelis are also appreciative of and grateful for that lifeline.