A dedication ceremony took place on Dec. 4 for a Mobile Intensive Care Unit (MICU) ambulance destined for Israel’s national emergency medical service, Magen David Adom (MDA). Local realtor Rosalie Klein funded the ambulance to honor her late parents, Dvora and Mordechai, and her beloved husband, Morrie.
Founded in 1930, MDA is the sole blood-services provider for Israel’s hospitals and defense forces, and the country’s Red Cross affiliate. It has been a crucial factor in times of war and other crises and developed into one of the most innovative and technologically advanced EMS organizations in the world. As a non-government organization, it is not supported by the government for its day-to-day operations.
When a person in Israel has a medical emergency, they call 101. Their call is answered within seconds by an EMT, who dispatches the seven nearest first responders to the scene, using MDA’s in-house developed technology. They arrive within minutes.
MDA is comprised of 32,800 EMTs and paramedics; 30,000 of them are unpaid volunteers. MDA operates from 200 stations throughout Israel with 2,000 life-saving vehicles, including ambulances, Medicycles, Medevac helicopters, sea ambulances, evacuation dune tractors, mobile command and control centers, blood collection vehicles, and more. These vehicles and other vital life-saving equipment are funded through philanthropy.
Dispatched to rescue patients in the most urgent and life-threatening situations, each MICU is equipped with sophisticated
technology that offers the highest level of treatment possible in an ambulance. Essentially an ICU on wheels, they are outfitted to carry special equipment and tools that enable paramedics to perform complex procedures that could so often mean the difference between life and death. These units can respond to the most severely injured or ill patients, including cardiac and stroke cases. All of MDA’s ambulances are GM vans that are sent to Medix Specialty Vehicles to be transformed into an ambulance inside and extended at the roof.
American Friends of Magen David Adom brought the ambulance to Beverly Hills to hold the special dedication ceremony and celebrate Klein’s gift. Nearly 70 friends and family members gathered to send the ambulance off to Israel. The ambulance will ship via a freighter to Ashdod, Israel in a journey that will take approximately five weeks. After customs hold, the process of installing electronic equipment and supplies begins. The Klein ambulance should be in service by April 1, 2023.
People choose to donate ambulances to Israel because of the countless lives that are touched from a woman in labor, to a senior experiencing cardiac arrest, or a victim of a terror attack. It is common for donors to honor a loved one’s memory or mark a momentous occasion such as a birthday or Bar/Bat Mitzvah, as these ambulances are a very meaningful way to honor a legacy. These ambulances respond to tens of thousands of calls in their service lifetime, and their impact is tremendous. To learn more, contact Dorin Esfahani at desfahani@afmda. org or visit www.afmda.org.