PARATROOPERS STATIONED in Beit Jann, in the Galilee, pose for a photo in the snow yesterday..
(photo credit: IDF SPOKESMAN’S UNIT)
Lt.-Col. Adi Leiba, medical officer for the IDF’s Judea and Samaria Division, said the army has treated more than 10 people injured in weather-related traffic accidents on Wednesday, and has prepared armored personnel carriers in case Israelis or Palestinians require evacuation due to the storm.
“We have been very busy in the past 24 hours,” Leiba told The Jerusalem Post. “As part of lessons learned from last year’s storm, we have prepared well in advance of this one.”
The division’s medical crews have dealt with accidents in the Gush Etzion and Binyamin regions throughout the day. The division has deployed all of its medical officers to the area, and contacted nurses who are local residents to speed up responses.
“Our special unit, the division’s military emergency treatment unit, is prepared,” said Leiba. “We have deployed APCs to areas that could be hard to reach. At this stage, we have not needed to deploy them, though this could change in the coming hours.”
The army has also set up a joint radio communications network with Magen David Adom paramedics in the West Bank for swifter response.
“We are prepared to treat civilians, Israelis or Palestinians, who need our help. Helicopter landing pads are also ready. These may be needed for some of our soldiers who are stationed further away in isolated regions.”
Medical crews are equipped with means to combat injuries from the cold, such as heat bags, fluids and a specialized thermometer that can detect hypothermia.
“We will have to be on standby on Friday as well, when the roads will be slick due to low temperatures,” he added. “Pedestrians and vehicles can slip on them.