Options - Search & Rescue - Ariel Eisner
After a harrowing (and hungry) 2 and a half hour journey, we finally arrived at a surf ranch in Netanya, where we would begin our Search and Rescue journey with an organisation called Magen.
When we arrived at the surf ranch, Magen had set up cakes and other snacks for us. We then had a great first day where we learned useful things such as the proper way to give CPR and how to tie many types of bandages. We also learned about many different types of natural disasters and how they affect people. After a long day of learning we went to a shopping centre where we stocked up on Aroma ice coffee and other treats. We then headed to the hotel for dinner and free time to chill with our friends.
After a good and uninterrupted night sleep (at least for most of us), we headed to the Magen site, where we would be doing our various activities. We were all very excited because we heard that we were able to destroy things with many types of tools (and who doesn’t like to destroy things?). After having more pastries and cakes, we were split into different groups and then we were shown how to cut wire, smash things, pull cement blocks and pick up heavy elements.
In the afternoon, we had a class about fires, where we learned what causes fires and the correct ways to put out different fires. Our first activity after the training, was to rescue a dummy from a room full of smoke, with little to no light. we we’re all lucky enough to experience first hand how to use fire extinguishers to put out fires. Then we moved on to the lever stage, where members of our group had to pull each other up a ‘building’, simulating rescuing somebody from a rooftop.
When we finished that, we watched a movie. The movie was a documentary about the organisation that was training us, Magen, who sent a team to Nepal to help rescue people out of the rubble of buildings in the aftermath of the earthquake in 2015. It was fantastic to see our instructors performing a real life rescue mission. This movie made sad because it made me think of the thousands of affected Nepalese and how I would feel if I had to search through debris to find my siblings, parents or grandparents, while not knowing if they were alive or dead. Also, we saw the tools that we had been practising with earlier that day, being used by the organisation to help save people.
On the last day, we woke up disappointed because we knew that it was the last day of the program. What we didn’t know was that it would be the best day of the program. In the morning we were told that we were going to enact activities similar to what we saw in the movie the previous night. This made us very excited for the day ahead. As soon as we got to the site, we got back into our groups and immediately got to work on a site that had been built to simulate the earthquake environment. We had to drill, smash and manoeuvre our way through 3 stories of a ‘destroyed’ building and rescue a person. When we finally found the trapped “person”, we had to put one of our mates on a stretcher and take them safely out of the building. This made me connect to the situation because because I could envision what it was like if it were my friends were the people who needed to be rescued from the rubble.
Overall, this was an absolutely amazing program, which we all got a lot out of. It opened our eyes to see what rescue crews around the world need to do to help search for and rescue injured people from under collapsed buildings. This experience made me want to volunteer for organisations like this and to help people in future disasters.
We also had a great time spending time with our friends from both Netzach and Lehava. This was definitely my highlight of the whole of IST so far and I would recommend this program to kids in future years.