Ready for any scenario Rambam Inaugurates the Command Center in the Sammy Ofer Fortified Underground Emergency Hospital In the shadow of Israel's ongoing security situation, the Command Center was inaugurated yesterday (May 7), thanks to $1 million from The International Fellowship of Christians and Jews headed by Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein Rambam Health Care Campus, the largest hospital in Northern Israel, has been operating a unique facility of great security importance for the entire region since 2014 – the Sammy Ofer Fortified Underground Emergency Hospital, the largest of its kind in the world, constructed in response to lessons learned during the Second Lebanon War. The facility, designed to treat 2,000 patients from throughout the northern district, is managed by a select staff consisting of hospital officials responsible for categorizing patients by the severity of their injuries, status of their vital systems, logistical needs and more. This critical information is transferred to the Command Center (War Room) in real time, where it is analyzed and displayed on screens for decision-making purposes, with the help of a dedicated emergency software system developed at Rambam, and adopted by the Ministry of Health. Until now, the Command Center operates from an unprotected area on the ground floor of the main building. In a war situation including an attack scenario on the area, as was the case in the 2006 Lebanon War, staff would need to evacuate to a protected facility without this critical setup. The protected area includes a large meeting room for management to plan for and respond to emergency events; operations room with 16 workstations for personnel, logistics, etc.; rooms for the hospital manager and deputies, and a staff kitchenette and restrooms. Of note, the Command Center was planned as part of the construction of the underground hospital, but due to budgetary problems, the work was postponed and only in 2017, after the donation from the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews, did the planning and execution commence. This is not the first donation made by the Fellowship to protect Rambam, who in the past contributed to establishing reinforced operating rooms, which are also located in the underground hospital. The inauguration ceremony was held yesterday at Rambam, with the participation of Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein and representatives of the Fellowship, Col. Dr. Olga Polyakov, Chief physician of the Home Front Command, senior representatives of the Home Front Command and representatives of the Rambam management. "The Second Lebanon War taught us important lessons on how to prepare for the coming years," said Prof. Rafi Beyar, Director of Rambam. He explained, "Rambam has a vital role in protecting the northern population during war or emergency scenarios. With a practical vision and help of many friends, we established the Sammy Ofer Fortified Underground Emergency Hospital. Today we completed the mission so that we can respond to emergency events in the best possible way for the hundreds of patients expected to reach us from the entire northern region. We are prepared for any eventuality". Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein, President of the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews, said: "In recent years, the foundation has invested NIS 150 million in a variety of life-saving projects, such as renovating 2,400 shelters, fortifying and providing essential equipment for hospitals in the periphery and in conflict zones, and purchasing new fire trucks and more. During these years, we experienced, together with the citizens of Israel and security forces, a range of emergency situations. We are committed to standing together with the people of Israel, both in routine and emergency times. In these days of tension on the northern border and the Gaza Strip, it is important for us to make sure that the rescue forces are equipped with the best technologies to deal with any situation and treatment of casualties. I hope the Command Center inaugurated will enable the wonderful staff of Rambam to cope with any situation, in order to be able to treat and save the lives of northern residents and Israeli security forces. "
In the photo: From the inauguration of the fortified Command Center at Rambam. Photo: Rambam spokesmen
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