A group of 17 students and ‘Or Avner’ school staff from Rostov-on-Don, Russia spent a full week of their winter break this year studying first aid and CPR skills with representatives of Israel’s Magen David Adom emergency unit. The express course – a joint initiative of the MDA and the Rostov Jewish community – provided the group with life-saving medical skills for emergency situations, especially valuable during Russian winters, when ambulance response times are often slow and unreliable.
The course was conducted on professional equipment that the MDA left to the Rostov community as a gift. “This is a very important program for our community,’ said Rabbi Shmuel Stolin, one of the initiative’s organizers. “We conduct many large events, including activities for children and elderly people. It is reassuring to know that now we have those who can come to emergency aid at a critical moment, while the ambulance can take a long time to arrive.”
Rabbi Stolin said the community plans to continue developing the initiative, sending the group to Israel in the summer to complete the course by training on real MDA ambulances, and to conduct another course next winter.
“Among other things, this project was also very enticing to young people, sparking their interest in community activities and showing them that there is a place for everyone’s talents here,” said David Feinberg, the community’s youth group leader and one of the participants in the course. “The emergency aid skills we learned here were really cutting edge, even for someone who comes from a medical background,’ said another participant, Emanuel, who works as a stomatologist.