MILWAUKEE — Some local religious leaders are preparing for the unthinkable: what to do in case of an armed attack. It's the goal of a new training program all taught by Israeli paramedics launched here in Milwaukee at the Jewish Federation.
Board Chairman Moshe Katz brought in experts from Israel's National EMS Services, Magen David Adom, who know what it's like to respond to catastrophic events.
"We're living in a more challenging time where this is one of those god forbid situations," Katz said. "It's unfortunately better to know what to do and not ever have to do it, than have to do it and have no idea what you're supposed to do."
Workers at the federation were the first in the U.S. to ever receive this kind of training that's called "First 7 Minutes," named for the amount of time it often takes paramedics to respond.
Paramedic Raphael Herbst leads the four-hour seminar featuring hands-on training with real-life situations. He felt it was their responsibility to share their experiences with the world.
"What can we as a community do in order to save as many lives as possible before help arrives, so we can save time and we understand that saving time saves lives," Herbst said.
The target audience is everyday people.
"We're not training people for first aid. We're not training people how to stop the bleed," Herbst said.
Allison Hayden said she never would have thought to take certain steps were it not for the training.
"I didn't think about where is the perpetrator? What happened? Are there other people to search?" Hayden said.
The paramedics want to give them the tools to make them more comfortable should they ever be in this situation.
"We can save multiple lives in scenes like this if we are more and more trained, not just here but across the country," Katz said.
Over the next few days synagogues, churches and other religious organizations in the community will also get to go through the hands on training.