A Magen David Adom ambulance stands by near the Western Wall.
(photo credit: MAGEN DAVID ADOM)
Dozens of Magen David Adom staffers spent the weekend at an Institute for Advancement of the Deaf workshop to learn sign language so they can assist the hearing disabled and their families who are hurt or ill.
Among the things they learned was a “vocabulary” of terms necessary for asking relevant medical and other questions and for receiving answers. It is the latest effort by MDA to improve communications with the hearing-impaired community after introducing a fax machine at its headquarters in the 1990s to communicate with deaf callers, and 16 years ago adding an SMS system.
More recently, the first aid, ambulance and blood services agency introduced email for the same purpose.
Volunteer medic Gal Shidlo of Petah Tikva, who participated in the workshop, said she “felt wonderful that, within a short time, we learned basic information on how to communicate with the deaf and hearing impaired.
“It was a pleasant experience and strengthened my ability to cope with such a situation, if necessary.”
Institute director Yael Kakon said people with hearing problems quite frequently encounter difficulties in getting services.
“As part of increasing accessibility to emergency services in the community, we opened a special channel of cooperation with MDA,” she said. “We have no doubt that the workshops for medics and paramedics will help save lives and improve services.”