Israel fire and rescue authority selects MDA to develop dispatch system

For over a decade now, MDA has taken to developing many of their EMS technologies in-house, in order to better suit the specific needs of the MDA team.

Magen David Adom staff present the new ambulance bus (photo credit: Courtesy)
Magen David Adom staff present the new ambulance bus
(photo credit: Courtesy)
The Israel National Firefighting and Rescue Authority will be employing the Israeli EMS service Magen David Adom (MDA) to develop its new dispatch system.
For over a decade now, MDA has taken to developing many of their EMS technologies in-house, in order to better suit the specific needs of the organization.
In 2006, surrounding the events of the Second Intifada where the team faced many mass-casualty situations, MDA made the decision to invest in their in-house research and development in order to build technology that fit the situations the EMS team encounters on a day to day basis as well as plan for situations that could potentially happen in Israel.
“Having worked closely with Magen David Adom for years, we’re familiar and have long admired their dispatch system and related technologies,” said Lt. General Dedi Simchi, commissioner of Israel Fire and Rescue. “Because MDA had the capacity to develop their network in-house, it’s designed to meet the unique EMS needs of Israel and offers full integration among all its systems. We’re looking forward to having a similarly customizable and integrated system for Israel’s fire authority.”
Within that 14 year span, MDA has taken to developing systems that can instantly geolocate the location of an emergency caller and if given permission can access a live feed of the emergency scene through their cellphones. Additionally, MDA created phone apps that enable users to upload their medical history should they need to call an ambulance and text for help features to reach dispatch in more than one way as well as automatic notifications sent by cars involved in accidents, and considering all the technologies are developed in-house they are all integrated and synced to be used together in the field.
“As a result of developing every system ourselves, we’ve ensured that all of them work seamlessly together,” said Magen David Adom’s chief information officer Ido Rosenblat. “And that’s true whether it’s the GPS system that tracks and routes our vehicles during emergencies, our computer-assisted dispatch system, the PBX system that routes our phone calls, our managements tools, or even the software that runs on the tablets our paramedics and EMTs use in the ambulances.
“We didn’t design them as separate standalone systems,” he added, “but as one system with multiple functions, ensuring that everything is fully integrated.”
Within the coming years, the United States plans to implement these same technologies into their now existent emergency response systems.
“From the very beginning of our decision to develop our own technology, the emphasis has been on designing systems that meet the organization’s needs, rather than compelling the organization to conform to the limitations of the technology,” said Rosenblat.
“Our approach in what we design for the Israel National Firefighting and Rescue Authority will be first and foremost about meeting their needs and providing them with the best tools to ensure the safety of firefighters and the Israeli public," he said. "And, as we’ve done with our own system, we will continue to add new features to continually improve it and provide even greater functionality.”
As well, given both the Israel National Firefighting and Rescue Authority and MDA will be using the same systems running on the same platform, the will eventually be able to design technologies to integrate the two organaztions when both fire and EMS response is needed.
“The possibilities for technological integration between the two organizations would be a huge benefit to the public,” Rosenblat concluded.