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Israel's national EMS team provides critical training at Poway Synagogue

Training comes four years after horrific shooting in 2019
Posted at 8:58 AM, May 16, 2023
and last updated 2023-05-16 11:58:53-04

POWAY, Calif. (KGTV) – A simulated situation providing some real-life training for several people in Poway on Monday night.

Members of Israel’s national EMS team came to the Chabad of Poway synagogue to provide training for the community on what they can do before first responders arrive.

One of those getting the training was Nate Rendler, a local pediatrician who is a member of the synagogue where a horrific shooting happened in 2019.

“When we came here, it was a scene of horror. I mean, there were just people that were in shock. The rabbi’s hand -- he had been wounded -- was wrapped in a prayer shawl,” Rendler said.

Raphael Herbst and his colleague provided unique training on how the community can step in to help as first responders arrive to a situation.

“What’s amazing about this training, that it’s towards a community. Even if individuals tend to freeze, how does a community together as a community, overcome the situation together,” said Herbst, the deputy director of the International Relations Department for Magen David Adom.

Simple yet necessary things are taught those getting this training.

“We talk about safety, how to call for help, how to work together as a community. How to stop the bleed, how to organize the scene,” Herbst said. “We actually do hands on so people actually do. They have a muscle memory, and they can feel they can actually deal an extreme situation.”

Realistic things one can do in a serious, real-life situation.

“The big thing is just some practical methods of helping people in acute medical emergency. And I think I’m learning from the best,” Rendler said.

And learning from the best can help this community that has experienced tragedy in Poway and beyond.

“First of all, there has to be an air of being conformable with what you’re going to do and how you’re going to react,” Rendler said. “But the other things is that we’re a Jewish community, that’s going to defend ourselves and help ourselves and, unfortunately, are facing a lot of difficult attacks today. We have to be ready.”

Organizers say there will be additional training sessions in La Jolla, San Diego and others in the Los Angeles area and Northern California.