Eagle exercise at Ben Gurion airport
Eagle exercise at Ben Gurion airport MDA spokesperson

On Tuesday November 30, 2021 an emergency exercise was held at the Ben Gurion International Airport. Titled "Eagle," the drill simulated the crash of a passenger plane with 250 people onboard.

The drill was a joint effort between the Israeli Airports Authority, Magen David Adom (MDA), Israel Police, Israel Fire and Rescue and other emergency organizations.

The goals of the drill were to evaluate the emergency protocols and response, the collaboration between all participating organizations, including the Airport Authority, the Israeli Police, Israel Fire and Rescue, the IDF and the Home Front Command. The focus of the drill was on a rapid coordinated response including, rapid arrival to the scene, MDA employees and volunteers' response to the crash site, managing the immediate medical care and evacuation, and more.

The drill simulated the emergency alert message from the control tower, received at MDA's National Command and Control Center for a passenger airliner malfunction with 250 passengers on board. What followed was the airplane crash at the airport runway upon landing. MDA medical teams provided medical treatment, assisting 250 simulated passengers. During the drill MDA teams took patients to the MDA helicopter that landed at the airport and airlifted them to the hospital, and simulated the triage and evacuation of tens of other simulated victims.

MDA deployed 8 MICUs, 20 ambulances, 5 MCRVs (multiple casualty response vehicle), 2 paramedic supervisor vehicles, Medi-Cycles, two Regional Command and Control Vehicles, the National Command and Control Truck, and hundreds of MDA Paramedics & EMTs.

Ziv Klainbart, MDA Ayalon Region Deputy Director and acting MDA drill commander, related: "Today we've simulated the response to a large scale event: 250 simulated casualties were triaged, given medical treatment and evacuated, all while managing the complex scene. It is a complicated drill that prepares us and our teams to be able to provide proper medic care and be ready for for a real event."

Eli Bin, MDA Director General, said: "This is a complex and important exercise held once in two years. It gives us the opportunity to practice the capabilities of Magen David Adom, Israel's national emergency medical and blood services organization, by simulating an aviation disaster at our largest international airport, reinforcing the critical collaboration between the emergency responding organization and the Airports Authority."

"It is my hope that we will never be called to a live scenario and need to put our knowledge to use. If, G-d forbid, we will need to do so, MDA is capable of responding within minutes, with more than 100 emergency vehicles, including ambulances, MICUs, Medi-Cycles, command and control vehicles, and at the same time to continue to provide the response to routine medical emergencies and maintain the preparedness for additional emergency incidents. [There is] no doubt that this exercise is maintaining the professional skills of our team members."

Emergency exercise at Ben Gurion Airport MDA spokesperson
Emergency exercise at Ben Gurion Airport MDA spokesperson
Emergency exercise at Ben Gurion Airport MDA spokesperson

Emergency exercise at Ben Gurion Airport MDA spokesperson
Emergency exercise at Ben Gurion Airport MDA spokesperson

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