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BGU Creates Cross-Border Emergency Response Teams

BGU Creates Cross-Border Emergency Response Teams

April 8, 2014

Homeland & Cyber Security, Medical Research

The Jerusalem Post — Health organizations from Israel, Jordan and the Palestinian territories, together with Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, have launched a project to jointly promote community preparedness and emergency response.

Israel’s Regional Cooperation Ministry and the European Commission’s Partnership for Peace Program sponsored the project, and BGU, Israel’s Magen David Adom, the Jordan Red Crescent and the Palestinian Authority’s Green Land Society for Health Development will implement it.

Joint Jordanian-Israeli earthquake drill in the Arava desert

Joint Jordanian-Israeli earthquake drill in the Arava desert

The groups are developing and training community emergency response teams that will participate in joint exercises in twelve locations in the three regions that the organizations represent.

“As emergencies are characterized by a shortage of resources, local and cross-border community response must be developed in order to reduce mortality and morbidity following a disaster,” says project director Dr. Bruria Adini, who is a member of BGU’s Department of Emergency Medicine in the Faculty of Health Sciences.

“The proposed project aims at developing regional collaboration for empowering community emergency response in the Middle East,” explains Dr. Adani.

The objective, says Dr. Adini, is “to develop the capacity and resilience of rural communities in Jordan, the PA and Israel to cope with disasters, including cross-border collaboration in emergency response. In addition, the teams will develop joint standard operating procedures for cross-border collaboration of communities during disasters.”

The new project grew out of BGU’s Israel-Jordan Academic Emergency Collaboration Program. The major achievements of this program include fourteen Jordanian students who graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Emergency Medical Services; the establishment of joint Jordanian-Israeli standard operating procedures for a coordinated response for natural disasters, and the participation of a cadre of Jordanian and Israeli first responders and volunteers who trained and exercised together to provide an effective emergency response.

In the first year of this three-year project, 30 trainers from Israel, Jordan and the Palestinian territories (ten each) are to be trained. In the second year, community emergency response teams – with at least 60 people from each entity – are to be established and trained. In the final year, local, national and cross-border exercises are to be conducted practicing joint operations in response to a simulated disaster.

Read more on The Jerusalem Post website >>