An important and often overlooked part of the IDF (Zahal) is its medical forces. These officers and soldiers are some of the most well-trained and professional medical personnel in the world. Their training does not only involve an extensive education, but also life-like drills to prepare them for future scenarios, both on the battlefield and in the civilian sector.
Recently, the Jordan Valley Regional Brigade held a brigade-level exercise to test their preparedness on many fronts. The regional brigade, composed of soldiers from a variety of units and disciplines, trained for terrorist attacks and infiltrations, violent protests, and emergency scenarios amongst other situations.
One of the most critical aspects of the exercise were the medical drills, meant to force soldiers to react quickly and make split-second decisions. The scene of one of these medical drills was the explosion of a civilian vehicle that resulted in a large number of casualties.
“We had a surprise drill as a part of the exercise,” explained Capt. Moran, the Medical Officer of the Jordan Valley Regional Brigade. “We were called to the scene of a mass casualty event at the Allenby Bridge.”
Capt. Moran works closely with soldiers from various IDF (Zahal) forces
The Allenby Bridge is a bridge that crosses the Jordan River and connects Judea and Samaria to Jordan. It serves as a border crossing between Israel and Jordan and allows for the passage of people and goods between the two countries. Because the drill took place at the border crossing, close coordination and communication was necessary between Israeli and Jordanian forces.
The medical forces, comprised of both conscripted soldiers and reserve soldiers, had to react to the situation, evaluate the extent of the injuries, and take care of those needing medical attention as quickly and efficiently as possible.
Although the IDF (Zahal) medical personnel are military forces, they work hand-in-hand with civilian organizations such as the Magen David Adom – Israel’s national emergency service – and the Red Crescent. The medical forces work intimately with Palestinian authorities to ensure a rapid and efficient response in emergency scenarios. “It should be noted that the collaboration with the Palestinians is unmatched in the rest of the army,” stated Capt. Moran.
“Today we utilized the collaboration between the conscripted soldiers and the reserve soldiers to the fullest, both on a professional level and an operational level,” summarized Capt. Moran. “I hope that there will be more exercises such as this one and that we will continue to learn and improve.”