Ramla, Israel – Magen David Adom believes that “blood is a strategic asset. Blood can save many lives in emergency scenarios, and as such should be protected” and with that thought in mind, he opened the world’s most heavily fortified blood bank in Ramla, Central Israel last week. This blood bank is made of non-combustible steel. It took four years and 11,000 tons of steel to build the Marcus National Blood Services Center. This concrete building with blast doors and airlocks is valued at $135M. There are defenses against missiles, biological & chemical attacks, earthquakes, and also cyberterror-attacks.
Marcus National Blood Services Center
There are a variety of security zones and three levels of protection. Each of the three floors has its own shelter. There is an auditorium, a dining area, a blood donation wing, and a few training facilities on the ground floor. The second floor is equipped with the Human Milk Bank, where mother’s milk gets collected for premature infants or infants with health issues. There are more training facilities on the second floor.
The third floor has protected blood bank labs and a transportation center along with a secure fleet parking for loading blood into ambulances.
Now, this facility has underground floors. The deepest level among the underground floors is where there is a blood storage vault. This vault is a 300-square-meter safe room. It is protected from the most dangerous missile threats. Each critical system here has a secondary system, including two ramps leading to the other underground floors, elevators, and four generators.
The Cord Blood Inventory is on the second underground floor along with an R&D molecular lab, and a chemical & biologics warfare air-filtration system. This system allows the staff to continue processing blood and continue work in the event of any chemical or biological attack.
This unit will replace the existing beleaguered facility built in the 1980s. This center is named in the honor of Bernie Marcus, the founder of the American chain, Home Depot. Marcus and his wife, Billi donated $35 million to this project. Leona M, Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust, and Bloomberg Philanthropies found by Michael Bloomberg were among other donors.
How does this help?
Lack of fortification meant that during missile or rocket attacks, blood banks had to stop processing blood and move blood reserves into a bomb shelter. This is despite the fact that blood is needed the most in times of war.
Moshe Noyovich, the engineer who oversaw the project confirms that “ they visited many blood banks around the world when planning, and found that there is simply no other country with a facility like this, with such a high level of protection for the national blood supply”
Noyovich believes that they have built something that is a new standard in protecting blood, which “is important as it’s a strategic asset.”
In the following weeks, Current Affairs Times will talk to experts and publish a follow-up investigative story.
Thumbnail Credits: American Friends of Magen David Adom