Israeli humanitarian volunteer organization ZAKA, which specializes in search, rescue and recovery missions at mass-casualty incidents around the world, recently coordinated an IDF Home Front Command search-and-rescue training course at various sites in Israel for 40 experienced ZAKA commanders from its units in Miami, New York City, New Jersey, Washington, France, Guatemala and two African countries.
The intensive simulation focused on natural disasters, building collapses and other mass-casualty incidents. The commanders, most of whom are paramedics or physicians, learned rescue and recovery techniques, orientation, proper conduct for professional rescuers in a variety of disaster scenarios and earthquakes, emergency rescue medicine and population intelligence.
“This is the first time that ZAKA volunteers from around the world have come to Israel for advanced training in search and rescue, so that they can use this knowledge back home,” said ZAKA International Rescue Unit Chief Operating Officer Mati Goldstein.
Major Shahar Ben Simeon, head of the IDF Home Front Command rescue training unit in the rescue and training division said the cooperative effort will allow for the optimum response to disasters in Israel and globally.
“Together, we can act in the best and most effective manner in our endeavors to save lives. We will continue to spearhead international cooperation with organizations and security forces, with professionalism and cooperation.”
The ZAKA International Rescue Unit has trained nearly 1,000 volunteers – Jewish and non-Jewish — in 48 units around the world. These volunteers from the Jewish and wider communities, including representatives from the local emergency services, are trained and equipped to serve as first-responders in their countries.