Magen David Adom officials have decided to close the Aravah response station, which will result in the removal of the ambulances from the area. Four or five ambulances are usually stationed in the station located near Sapir in the Aravah Regional Council. These ambulances are instrumental in responding to accidents on Route 90, which is traveled by over six million vehicles annually.
According to Regional Council head Dr. Eyal Blum, quoted by Walla News, the consequence of the decision is that there will not be a MDA station along the 160km (100 miles) of roadway. Blum calls the decision irresponsible and he sent a letter to Health Minister (Yesh Atid) Yael German seeking assistance.
The establishment of the station near Ein Yahav six years ago was in response to the recommendation of the Sheinan Committee addressing a multi-year plan for increased road safety. The committee recommended the opening of five satellite response stations, which it felt would only require a nominal fee towards significantly improving life-saving efforts. The committee felt these stations would curtail response times for ambulances and rescue services and thereby save lives.
MDA explains it is not happy with the decision but the move is dictated by a lack of funding, turning to the National Road Safety Authority for assistance. MDA feels that these stations are in place almost exclusively to serve major roadways and therefore, the road safety authority should be infusing money into maintaining their operation. MDA explains its state budget does not permit maintaining these satellite stations.
(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)