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Westchester First Responders Meet With Israeli Counterparts

Westchester officials meet with Guy Caspi, second from right, of  Magen David Adom, Israel’s ambulance, disaster relief and blood-services organization.
Westchester officials meet with Guy Caspi, second from right, of Magen David Adom, Israel’s ambulance, disaster relief and blood-services organization. Photo Credit: Contributed

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. -- Members of first responder teams from around Westchester County, as well as Westchester County Board of Legislators Chairman Ken Jenkins (D-Yonkers) and Majority Leader Pete Harckham (D-North Salem), recently hosted Guy Caspi, the chief multi-casualty incident instructor and director of hazmat exercises for Magen David Adom, Israel’s ambulance, disaster relief and blood-services organization.

Caspi, who has visited several cities around the U.S. and presented instructional information over the last two weeks, also met with police and fire commissioners, EMT and hospital emergency personnel from around Westchester, and representatives from the Metropolitan Transportation Authority in White Plains.

The event in White Plains gave area emergency personnel an opportunity to hear from Caspi about MDA protocols and his work, which includes development of training programs and educational drills to prepare the necessary responses to multi-casualty incidents and improve on-scene coordination and cooperation.

Because of the sheer number of rocket attacks, suicide bombers and other acts of terrorism that Israel has endured, MDA has emerged as the world’s most experienced paramedic organization in responding to multi-casualty incidents.

“Today’s instructional visit with Guy Caspi will provide far-reaching benefits to our first responders in terms of emergency preparedness,” Jenkins said in a prepared statement. “His professional knowledge and experience are unmatched, and I’m grateful he was able to offer us his insights and advice.”

MDA often sends officials abroad to share expertise and best practices.

In April, Boston EMTs used tactics learned from MDA in responding to the Boston Marathon terror attack.

“It doesn’t matter whether the source is terrorism or roadside car accidents, we need to be better prepared for mass-casualty scenarios in Westchester County,” chair of American Friends of Magen David Adom in Westchester County Haina Just-Michael said in the statement.

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