Every Year, MDA Teams Are Called to Tend Emergencies in Which People Are Hurt While Building Sukkahs.

Yesterday, on 11 Tishrei, a 24 Year Old Male Was Evacuated to Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Mild-Moderate Condition After Being Hit in His Head by a Piece of Wood While Building a Sukkah in Jerusalem. Today, October 1, a 15-Year-Old Male Was Treated and Evacuated to Barzilai Medical Center in Moderate Condition While Suffering from a Head Injury After Falling off a Ladder at a Synagogue in Ashdod. In Order to Mitigate the Amount of Injuries Caused While Building Sukkahs, MDA Introduces the Full Guide to Building a Sukkah Safely.

Israelis throughout the country are festively preparing for Sukkos by building Sukkahs, forcing MDA teams to also raise their alertness level and handle the many emergencies of people injured during the holiday preparations. Over the past 24 hours, MDA EMTs and paramedics provided medical treatment and evacuated to hospitals two patients who were injured while building Sukkahs – a 24 year old male with a head injury and a 15 year old male who fell off a ladder at a Shul in Ashdod.

In order to enjoy the Yomtov tradition in the safest way possible, MDA shares the full guide for building a Sukkah safely:

· If you are building a Sukkah in your backyard ensure to wear shoes, remove shrubbery that may conceal bugs and reptiles and check that all paths to the Sukkah are free of obstacles to allow rapid evacuation if need be.

· Locate the Sukkah far from electric devices and gas tanks. Do not light fire near gas tanks or electric facilities.

· If you’re building a Sukkah on a balcony of a high floor, make sure you don’t drop heavy object as they may hit pedestrians. Ensure all parts of the Sukkah are firmly intact and aren’t in danger of dropping.

· While setting up the walls of the Sukkah, ensure children are at a safe distance so they don’t get hit. Strengthen the walls in a way that doesn’t allow them to collapse. Pay special attention to this rule if you’re using hard materials such as wood.

· While laying the thatch of the Sukkah, be careful while standing on a pedestal. Do not climb on the balcony rail or an unstable ladder. The thatch must be attached to the Sukkah so the wind doesn’t blow it away.

· Palm leaves have ‘thorns’ that may scratch the fingers and hands of those setting up the Sukkah. Ensure children stay away from palm leaves. Hold the stem under the leaves and not between them, as dangerous bugs may be hiding inside.

· While connecting the Sukkah to the electricity do not touch exposed cords or unsafe sockets. Ensure that prior to connecting the Sukkah to the electricity, sockets are intact, safe for use in the outdoors, and water-resistant to avoid electrocution. Do not use damaged cords in the Sukkah.

· Hanging ornaments – do not stand on rails, unstable ladders, chairs etc. in order to hang ornaments. Ensure children hang decorations carefully. Always make sure children are under adult supervision. Falling from height can damage the spine, cause concussions and in severe cases, even death. If you or someone around you, experiences a similar case, immediately call 101 or use the “My MDA” mobile app to call MDA teams. Do not move or lift the patient until the arrival of MDA teams to the scene.

· Do not leave unsupervised candles in the Sukkah. Always place candles in safe spots in order to avoid fire in the Sukkah. Do not toss cigarette buds in the Sukkah or near it, to avoid a fire.

· In any case of a medical emergency, immediately call MDA teams using the 101 emergency line or the “My MDA” mobile app, and adhere to the instructions of the EMTs and paramedics at the dispatch center until the arrival of MDA teams to the scene.

MDA Director General, Eli Bin: “MDA teams encounter disasters every year during Sukkot. In order for us all to enjoy the holiday happily and avoid unnecessary emergencies, it is important to adhere to MDA’s instructions and operate cautiously and safely while building Sukkahs. On behalf of all of MDA’s employees and volunteers, I wish you all a happy and safe holiday.”