Conference to focus on disaster management and mass casualty evacuation events.
BY ANNA AHRONHEIM APRIL 17, 2019
ozens of top medical practitioners are expected to attend the third annual IsCREAM international medical conference focusing on dilemmas in disaster management and mass casualty evacuations following natural disasters.
Organized by the 669 “Cat” alumni association, the conference on May 21 at Oshiland in Kfar Saba is expecting over 400 people to attend including medical personnel from the IDF, United Hatzalah, MDA, civilian rescue units as well as firefighters and more.
The conference this year will focus on dilemmas in disaster medicine and management in both the military and civilian worlds, Prof. Ari Shamiss, the Chairman of the Scientific Committee of the association and and CEO of Assuta Medical Centers told The Jerusalem Post on Wednesday.
Innovation, command decisions, reference scenarios and the cooperation between authorities during evacuation and emergency treatment will also be discussed at the conference.
One panel, Shammis told The Post, of the conference will focus on the preparation, planning and response to mass casualty events such as an earthquake in Israel and how the country will react.
A 2016 report by Israel’s Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee’s Home-Front Readiness Subcommittee found that if Israel were to be struck by a 7.5 magnitude earthquake, an estimated 7,000 people would be killed, another 8,600 injured and 377,000 expected to be left homeless. In addition, the country could face damages of up to NIS 200 billion.
In addition to buildings being destroyed, the damage to critical infrastructures such as electricity, water and communication is expected to be great. According to Israel’s National Emergency Authority, there are 80,000 buildings, including schools and hospitals, over three stories high that were built before 1980, and not constructed to current standards.
Since the complication of the report, several steps have been taken to improve the country’s readiness. But, there is still much to learn and the conference is the only conference of its kind in Israel which allows for all the rescue and evacuation bodies in the country to come together under one roof.
“Israel is very involved in disaster medicine across the world,” Shamiss said, pointing to the Israeli delegation which took part in rescue operations in Brazil following the January collapse of a dam which killed close to 200 people. The disaster in Brazil will also be discussed during the conference, Shamiss said.