Israel's Home Front Command simulates CBRN strike

Israel's Home Front Command has begun joint exercises with Magen David Adom and the Shaare Tzedek Medical Center to prepare for chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear missile attacks.

The simulated attacks, which consist of three missiles hitting a Jerusalem neighborhood in quick succession, leave hundreds of people injured by a chemical substance. The victims are rushed by Home Front Command and Magen David Adom ambulances to a large site prepared by Shaare Tzedek Medical Center.

Before the injured can receive medical attention, they must first be cleaned of the chemical substance. They are covered with a talc-based powder to absorb the chemical before being rinsed and taken to receive appropriate medical procedures.

The Shaare Tzedek Medical Center is able to treat several hundred wounded during emergency situations. To test its capacity, the exercise sends 200 wounded citizens through its door, taking two hours to decontaminate them all.

More than 100 soldiers took part in the exercise, which was deemed a great success, acted as a means of reassuring the government and citizens to the readiness of its soldiers for a biological or chemical attack.

"I am very satisfied," Col. Yoram Lev-Ran, Commander of the Home Front Command Jerusalem District, told the Israel Defense Forces. "The civilian and military medical staff cooperated very well during the exercise. The system treating civilians in this kind of situations isn't natural, it's made up of a lot of bodies and organizations. We work on connecting them as well as possible, and I think that this sends a strong message to the Israeli public."

More exercises will be performed by the Home Front Command over the coming months at hospitals throughout the country to practice and improve preparedness in emergency situations.