ZAKA emergency response volunteers traveled from Jerusalem to Belgium for a two-day emergency drill with the Jewish community there in anticipation of more terror attacks.
In order to shorten the response time to international mass casualty incidents, the UN-recognized, Israel-based ZAKA International Rescue Unit trains emergency response teams in communities worldwide.
In the shadow of Friday’s terror attacks in Paris and with the increasing threat of Islamic State (ISIS) in Europe, ZAKA volunteers launched on Sunday a two-day emergency drill with ZAKA Belgium, in cooperation with the local Jewish community.
The drill included, for example, training related to dealing with mass casualty incidents, multi-site simultaneous terror attacks, establishing a central morgue, preliminary screening and identification, and cooperation with local emergency and rescue forces.
The training, which was planned already before the Paris terror attacks, closes with different scenarios taking place in several buildings.
“The level of stress in the air after the terror attacks in Paris was palpable, especially due to the fact that the terrorists’ base of operations was in Belgium. There is an increased police security presence on the streets and in places that are highly populated. As a result, the participation in the drills and exercises was very high, as was the level of cooperation with the local community,” ZAKA International Rescue Unit Director Mati Goldstein stated.
“Sadly, we are witnessing an increase in the levels of international terror,” added ZAKA Chairman and Founder Yehuda Meshi-Zahav. “As an international humanitarian volunteer organization, we at ZAKA invest significant financial and human resources in maintaining high levels of readiness among Jewish communities around the world and ensuring that they have the knowledge and tools to deal with emergency situations as and when they happen in their region.”