In a peaceful neighborhood on a sunny day, an airplane is flying high above. Suddenly, the pilot loses control of the airplane and it crashes. Many people are injured or trapped under the ruins, some have died, and fire is starting to spread. This is where the IDF (Zahal)’s Home Front Command steps in.

Please note: All injures represented in the following images are not real. They were simulated with makeup for the purposes of an IDF (Zahal) exercise.

Soldiers from the IDF (Zahal) Home Front Command are known as experts in civilian disaster response. When the the third international IPred convention on Healthcare System Preparedness and Response to Emergencies and Disasters came to Israel, they had a chance to show off some of their skills.

Simulating Disaster to Save Lives: IDF Soldiers ‘Rescue’ Airplane Passengers for Live Audience

The Home Front Command invited delegates to a live exercise dramatizing an airplane crash into an urban neighborhood.

Simulating Disaster to Save Lives: IDF Soldiers ‘Rescue’ Airplane Passengers for Live Audience

One of the ‘injured passengers’, with an imagined ‘life story’ written on his hand

The scene opened to an airplane in ruins, its mangled parts scattered across the ground, and buildings on fire. Soldiers in civilian clothing played the part of injured airplane passengers.

Simulating Disaster to Save Lives: IDF Soldiers ‘Rescue’ Airplane Passengers for Live Audience

The set before the dramatization begins

Simulating Disaster to Save Lives: IDF Soldiers ‘Rescue’ Airplane Passengers for Live Audience

The exercise begins

IDF (Zahal) rescuers began to enter the scene, one by one. The Search and Rescue team and Home Front Command firefighters evacuated the injured, drilled through the concrete ruins to find trapped civilians or bodies, and put out fires. The Oketz canine unit searched for trapped civilians using sniffer dogs, the Medical Corps treated the wounded, and an Israel Air Force helicopter evacuated them to hospitals. Police officers and civilian paramedics also participated, and a ‘news reporter’ gave the enthralled audience a running commentary in English throughout the exercise.

Simulating Disaster to Save Lives: IDF Soldiers ‘Rescue’ Airplane Passengers for Live Audience

The fire starts

Simulating Disaster to Save Lives: IDF Soldiers ‘Rescue’ Airplane Passengers for Live Audience

An ‘ínjured passenger’ calling for help

Simulating Disaster to Save Lives: IDF Soldiers ‘Rescue’ Airplane Passengers for Live Audience

Paramedics arrive to assist the ‘injured’

Simulating Disaster to Save Lives: IDF Soldiers ‘Rescue’ Airplane Passengers for Live Audience

Paramedics treat the wounded

Simulating Disaster to Save Lives: IDF Soldiers ‘Rescue’ Airplane Passengers for Live Audience

The Home Front Command spent months preparing the exercise, constructing special sets and writing a script. Their hard work set a new standard for emergency preparedness and disaster response.

Simulating Disaster to Save Lives: IDF Soldiers ‘Rescue’ Airplane Passengers for Live AudienceSimulating Disaster to Save Lives: IDF Soldiers ‘Rescue’ Airplane Passengers for Live Audience

Planning the next move

Simulating Disaster to Save Lives: IDF Soldiers ‘Rescue’ Airplane Passengers for Live Audience

Searching for trapped civilians

Simulating Disaster to Save Lives: IDF Soldiers ‘Rescue’ Airplane Passengers for Live AudienceSimulating Disaster to Save Lives: IDF Soldiers ‘Rescue’ Airplane Passengers for Live Audience

All of the forces working together

Simulating Disaster to Save Lives: IDF Soldiers ‘Rescue’ Airplane Passengers for Live Audience

A canine from the Oketz unit and his handler

Simulating Disaster to Save Lives: IDF Soldiers ‘Rescue’ Airplane Passengers for Live Audience

An Oketz Unit dog next to an airplane engine

Simulating Disaster to Save Lives: IDF Soldiers ‘Rescue’ Airplane Passengers for Live Audience

An Oketz Unit dog searching for trapped civilians

Simulating Disaster to Save Lives: IDF Soldiers ‘Rescue’ Airplane Passengers for Live AudienceSimulating Disaster to Save Lives: IDF Soldiers ‘Rescue’ Airplane Passengers for Live AudienceSimulating Disaster to Save Lives: IDF Soldiers ‘Rescue’ Airplane Passengers for Live Audience

Watch a video of the simulation:

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