Background Magen David Adom (MDA), Israel's national rescue organisation, used volunteers from northern Israel to reinforce emergency medical teams in the South during Operation Oferet Yezuka that affected only the southern part of the country. To ascertain the return of professional volunteers to additional reinforcement shifts in a time of war, the organisation needs to maintain satisfactory conditions. The goal of this study was to evaluate the factors influencing the willingness of reinforcing volunteers to return to another shift in a time of war.
Methods A telephone survey of 99 out of 561 volunteers who came to reinforce the south in January 2009. The volunteers were asked about job characteristics, physical conditions, feeling of personal safety, and the correspondence between the volunteers' expectations and their job assignment.
Results Physical conditions, reception and job assignment, as well as the number of events treated significantly influenced willingness to return to another shift. The number of events at the station and the level of satisfaction positively correlated with the willingness to return while the feeling of personal safety did not. The volunteers' anxiety was negatively correlated to the number of rockets that fell in the area of the station and the number of casualties treated.
Conclusions The volunteers reported that they are willing to endanger their lives in order to repeatedly help during war. Appropriate reception and job assignment at the reinforcement station, reasonable staying conditions, and training and preparation for the reinforcement job will bring the volunteers back to another shift.
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