Jerusalem – In an effort to maintain the effectiveness of its nationwide network of volunteers, United Hatzalah has continued to train new volunteers to add to its network of more than 6,000 first responders across the country. The fully trained first responders, Jewish, Muslim, Christian, and Druze alike, drop whatever it is that they are doing and rush out to respond to a medical emergency and treat anyone in need, regardless of race, religion, or nationality, and they provide all of the treatment free of charge.
“In order to enable the newly trained volunteers to do their part we need to provide them with emergency communication devices and for this, we need an additional 850 units,” explained Eli Beer. “The way our system works is that the volunteers are notified based upon the GPS location of these devices and the technology that is built into them. These devices not only allow our volunteers to receive alerts regarding medical emergencies in their vicinity but also to communicate quickly and effectively with our Dispatch and Command Center in order to receive additional instructions and information while relaying back to the dispatcher what additional personnel are needed at the scene. This quick flow of information is vital to our life-saving work.”
Vice President of Operations Dov Maisel, who is overseeing the initiative to supply each of the newly trained EMTs with a state-of-the-art communications device, spoke about why these devices are so essential. “About 16 years ago, I was at a hotel in Eilat with some friends, all of us were paramedics, in the cafeteria when all of a sudden an ambulance rolled up to the hotel and rushed to the pool area to treat a drowning victim, who had been unconscious for some time after being pulled from the water. Being that we were paramedics we all rushed to help, but by the time the ambulance got there, and us in its wake, too much time had passed and the person didn’t survive. We were right there, in the hotel already, but we simply didn’t know about the emergency until the ambulance rolled up. Our communication devices make this scenario impossible nowadays. All of our volunteers in the field, no matter where they are, vacationing, in the office, at home, or on the road, will be alerted to any medical emergency in their vicinity, and thus, we save more lives. We need these communication devices in order to do just that.”
Maisel explained a bit about the technology behind the devices. “We have developed a series of systems that are built into a new cellular platform that combines the PTT capabilities and allows a two-way radio system to be built into a smartphone. This isn’t simply a PTT app uploaded to the phone. This is an entirely new device that was created to suit the specific needs of United Hatzalah volunteers in the field and allow them to receive notifications smoothly, have easy access to all pertinent information regarding the medical emergency at hand, and allow smooth interface and a direct line of contact with our dispatch and command center,” he added. “We’ve worked hard on this device which is an advanced smartphone/PTT hybrid and now we need more of them in order to ensure that each and every volunteer will be able to arrive in the shortest time possible and provide medical care to those around them,” Maisel concluded.
In order to support this initiative and donate an emergency communication device for a newly trained United Hatzalah volunteer EMT, click here.