Israel Trains French Trauma Experts In Wake Of Terror Attacks

AP Photo
The Associated Press

TEL AVIV – In the face of the Islamic State terror that seized Paris in 2015, Israeli trauma experts have been using their own experience with terror in Israel to train French first responders.

The program, which began following the attack on a kosher supermarket in Paris last January, is being expanded as the global wave of terror increases, Israel21c reported. French clinicians trained by Israelis from the Israel Trauma Coalition (ITC) administered psychotrauma interventions in hospitals following the Paris attacks on November 13, which killed 132 people and injured more than 360.

ITC is an organization that specializes in emergency preparedness and handling the effects of psychotrauma. Members of ITC have operated in numerous countries that have suffered trauma – which can include natural disasters – such as Haiti, Japan, the Philippines, India, and the United States.

Israel’s bloody history means the organization is equipped to offer critical guidance for foreign professionals managing the aftereffects of terrorism.

Despite being kept very busy with the current wave of terror in Israel, the ITC is expanding its training programs in France.

“Like people in Israel, the French are getting ready for long-time duress, which requires a different approach,” said ITC Director Talia Levanon. “In Israel, we know there is no safe place or time and I think now people in France understand this. They understand they are very vulnerable.”

In addition to the work it is already doing on the ground in France, ITC has made a multi-pronged proposal to the French government for a suite of post-trauma services.

According to ISRAEL21c, these include “preparing local school staff to deal with emergencies and their impact on students; teaching hospital personnel how to organize information on casualties and provide it to families; training hospital support teams on short-term interventions for psychological trauma caused by terrorism; training first responders such as police, firefighters, and emergency medical technicians; and introducing Israeli-style resilience and emergency preparedness centers to the city of Paris.”