Israel’s first international conference on preparedness and response of health care systems to disasters and emergencies will convene in Tel-Aviv on 11-14 January 2010.

 First Emergency Response Conference opens in Israel


The IPRED conference, the first international conference for emergency preparedness and response, opens today, Monday, January 11, 2010, at the Hilton Hotel in Tel Aviv. Opening speeches will include the head of the Home Front Command, Maj. Gen. Yair Golan, the Director General, Ministry of Health, Dr. Eitan Chai-Am and the Mayor of the city of Tel-Aviv-Jaffa, Mr. Ron Huldai.

The conference is a joint initiative of the Israeli Ministry of Health and the IDF Home Front Command. These organizations work in close collaboration to assure effective preparedness and response of the health care system to mass casualty events and all other events that may impact the public health.

The IPRED conference will provide the participants with a unique opportunity for sharing knowledge, skills and experiences in emergency management, while networking with leaders of emergency preparedness from many parts of the world. It will enable the world’s disaster and emergency experts and researchers together to review and assess best practices and state of the art preparedness to emergencies.

The first two days of the conference will be devoted to the presentation of the various aspects of handling emergency scenarios and will include workshops, presentations, round-table discussions and hands-on experiences based on advanced training tools. Hundreds of senior officials from Israel and abroad will take part in the conference, including leading guest speakers in the field such as:

  • Mr. Arjun Katoch, India – Chief, Field Coordination Support Section of OCHA Emergency Services Branch and responsible for managing the United Nations Disaster Assesment and Coordination team (UNDAC). Mr. Katoch, charged with coordinating initial aid to disaster struck areas, participated and aided over 140 emergency and disaster events worldwide.
  • Dr. Kristi Koenig, USA – An internationally recognized expert in the fields of homeland security, emergency management and emergency medical support.

The highlight of the conference will be a regional comprehensive biological exercise that will be conducted in Tel Aviv on the last two days of the conference, based on lessons learned from previous large-scale biological exercises during the past four years. The exercise will include hospitals, health maintenance organizations, emergency medical services, public health district office and interface agencies. The conference participants are invited to participate in the exercise (as viewers or as "mock casualties") in order to get a first hand impression.

The IPRED conference was recognized by the World Health Organization (WHO), and as a regional conference of the World Association for Disaster Medicine (WADEM). Abstracts accepted for presentation at IPRED will be published in the Journal of Prehospital and Disaster.