First-responders take part in simulated large-scale Mahane Yehuda security drill

Mahane Yehuda drill 248.88 (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
Mahane Yehuda drill 248.88
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
Jerusalem's Mahane Yehuda market was the scene of an emergency drill on Sunday afternoon, in which Jerusalem police, Israeli Border Police, firefighters, Magen David Adom responders and Jerusalem Municipality workers took part in the simulation of a large-scale terrorist attack. Using live "wounded" participants and dozens of rubber dummies, the emergency forces practiced treating the victims at the scene and evacuating those who needed hospitalization, under a smoke screen that was emitted from a machine to simulate the aftermath of an explosion. Additionally, police bomb squad officers located a number of explosive devices around the area, and practiced neutralizing those threats. "This is a mass drill, meant to integrate all of the city's response teams and get them ready for the holiday season," said Jerusalem Police chief Cmdr. Ilan Franco, who was on the scene during the drill. "We're practicing the evacuation and treatment of upwards of 20 victims, with a large number of security and medical forces on the scene," he said. "We have to be prepared for everything, but hopefully, we will only have to do this as a drill." Mahane Yehuda has been the scene of numerous suicide bombings in the past, and shopkeepers on Sunday balked at the simulation of what they had seen repeated, on a larger scale, many times over. "This is nothing like the real thing," said Dudu Rabin, as he sat in his shop watching the drill. Asked if he had personally witnessed any of the past bombings in the market, Rabin simply nodded and pointed to a scar on his leg. "More than one," he said.