A few weeks ago, the question arose as to what one has to do in Israel if you witness an accident. We are very grateful to have a summary of what is expected of you written by Abby Klein, International Relations Department of Magen David Adom in Israel. The rest of the post contains Abby’s summary of what is expected of one who witnesses someone having an emergency in Israel.
All too often, the question arises: “What am I to do if or when I witness someone having an emergency? I have no medical training, and the last time I took a first aid class was over 20 years ago.” Unfortunately, this question is more common than I would like to believe. As a result, here at Magen David Adom (MDA) we have decided to conquer the challenges of this question one person at a time, by training the general public in basic first aid and CPR and making these courses open and affordable to all.
As far as the legal obligation goes, all Israeli citizens are obligated to act in accordance with their level of training. This means that if you’ve taken a basic CPR class, you are required to act within that scope of practice, and if you are a Paramedic then you are required to act as one. However, if you have not taken a first aid or CPR class, then all you have to do is call MDA’s emergency Dispatch Center by dialing 101 (comparable to 911 in the US), and report what happened, an exact location, and what is happening at the moment you call. You also need not worry about the consequences of being the one to call. Even if the patient turned out not to need an ambulance, and decides not to go to the hospital, it is not the caller who will be billed. So, the only consequence of calling MDA for someone is that you may help them.
As a first responder, I am personally very grateful to receive accurate information before arriving at the scene of a call. This information allows us to start to make a treatment plan even on the way to the scene of an incident, and thus provide our patients with the best care possible.