Angels on Ambucycles: Jews and Arabs saving lives

This is a Thank you to United Hatzalah for saving Yaakov, our classmate’s live. They are very fast and incredibility professional with the Ambucycles. Yaakov was not feeling good and had laid down on a bench in class. Someone call for an ParaMedic (EMT) and in a minute we heard the siren. Being we are on the 4th floor it took a minute or two to get to our classroom. The EMT had everything with him including Oxygen which he gave to Yaakov and gave him a complete check over. Please support United Hatzalah with a donation. please visit their site at http://www.unitedhatzalah.org
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United Hatzalah, Israel’s only national all-volunteer emergency response organization, gets local medics to patients by foot or moped in a hurry

When Ambulances Can’t Get There in Time, the Nimble Ambucycle Saves Lives

Congestion kills. That’s not hyperbole, it’s a fact. In dozens of cities across the world, heavy traffic, construction, and poorly maintained roads keep first responders from getting to patients in time. That’s where the Ambucycle comes in.

With a dual-sport motorcycle and a surprising amount of lifesaving equipment on board, an Ambucycle and its medic rider can reach the scene of an accident or the home of a patient in an average of 90 seconds. That’s lightspeed compared to the 20-30 minutes it could take a traditional ambulance to reach the same destination while dealing with traffic congestion and road closures.

The Ambucycle is the brainchild of Eli Beer, the founder and manager of href=”http://www.israelrescue.org/index.php”>United Hatzalah (“rescue” in Hebrew). At 15 he took his first EMT course and began volunteering with an ambulance service in Israel. But he quickly realized that every minute that passed between leaving the station to arriving at a patient’s door was a lifetime.

So at 17 he assembled a group of EMTs and a handful of emergency radio receivers to rush medical attention to those in need — sometimes on foot.

Today, 25 years later, Beer’s rogue band of first responders has evolved into United Hatzalah, a 2,000-volunteer army of medical technicians that can deploy on a moment’s notice. In just the last year the organization helped 207,000 patients, over 40,000 of which were treated for life-threatening emergencies.

The Ambucycles obviously can’t carry a person, but they can stabilize a patient long enough for an ambulance to arrive, thanks to an on-board trauma kit, oxygen canister, defibrillator, and more. The medics each have a smartphone equipped with GPS, allowing volunteers to be notified of an emergency in their vicinity and respond within minutes. Each year, the bikes serve almost 500 calls, one-quarter of which are life-threatening. And they do it all for free.

The cost of each bike — including the medical equipment, maintenance, and insurance — is around $26,000, and United Hatzalah is aiming to expand its fleet to 500 in order to meet demand in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, and other cities throughout Israel.

Beer is already in talks withorganizations in India and hopes to expand the Ambucycle’s reach across the world. And if the terrain is too tough for their dual-sport, United Hatzalah has a four-wheel-drive Ambutractor in the fleet as well.

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Angels on Ambucycles

When the all-volunteer first-response medical organization Hatzalah starting operating in a religious Jerusalem neighborhood 20 years ago, they had to work in stealth mode. In those days, the group wasn’t officially recognized.

“We would listen in to the radio on shifts,” founder Eli Beer recalls.

“We had a number of people who would call us [directly], but every time we heard a call that came from our
neighborhood we would use our own frequency. Each volunteer would buy their own radio and oxygen tank, and I used to yell into the radio something like ‘Bayit V’gan No. 65, a child is choking!’ The volunteers who heard this would run.”

Today, any Israeli can call United Hatzalah of Israel by dialing 1221. And anyone can be a volunteer after passing a medics’ course. Beer imported the model to Israel from US Jewish communities because it is neighborhood-based and allows medics to get to patients on foot or moped as they wait for an ambulance to arrive.

Especially in traffic-choked Jerusalem, those extra minutes count. And though it took time for Magen David Adom (MDA), Israel’s national emergency medical services organization, to warm to the idea, today the two groups enjoy a beneficial partnership. Hatzalah is not intended to replace MDA but to complement it.

Only all-volunteer first-response team

United Hatzalah Israel now works in all sectors of Israeli society, boasting 1,600 Arab and Jewish trained volunteers. The only all-volunteer first-response team in Israel that operates nationally, it has a fleet of Ambucycles whose drivers rely on the Israeli-developed GPS system, Life Compass, to locate the distressed even in winding alleyways with poorly marked numbers on homes and apartment buildings stacked together like a mosaic.

The award-winning organization also demonstrates that people who could be enemies prefer instead to save each other’s lives.

Among the Hatzalah teams that spring into action from the midst of prayer, work or middle-of-the-night sleep is an odd couple: an Orthodox Jewish fish store employee and a Muslim worker at a mosque in the Old City. When receiving an alert, they each jump on their specially equipped mopeds or run on foot to save the day.

There are others like them, such as an Arab man who saved a Jewish life in a ritual bathhouse, and Beer himself, who ran out of the synagogue on Yom Kippur — the holiest day of the Jewish year — to save an Arab man suffering from a heart attack.

“I don’t look at people as Arab or Jewish,” says Beer, an Orthodox American who volunteered with MDA in Jerusalem at age 16 before moving to Israel.

The World Economic Forum in Davos lauded Beer as social entrepreneur of the year in 2010, and this year he won the Israeli Prime Minister’s Award for his boundary-breaking and life-saving non-profit organization, which runs on a budget of about $4 million) all of which comes from donations, mainly from Israel and the United States.

“Anyone can join us. We are a huge national organization still run from Jerusalem. You can see an Orthodox Jew, an Arab, a volunteer ‘settler’ and a guy who’s not religious at all – all working together,” says Beer.

United Hatzalah Israel now works in
all sectors of Israeli society, boasting 1,600 Arab and Jewish trained volunteers. The only all-volunteer first-response team in Israel that operates nationally, it has a fleet of Ambucycles whose drivers rely on
the Israeli-developed GPS system, Life Compass, to locate the distressed even in winding alleyways with poorly marked numbers on homes and apartment buildings stacked together like a mosaic.
The award-winning organization also demonstrates that people who could be enemies prefer instead to save each other’s lives.Among the Hatzalah teams that spring into action from the midst of prayer, work or middle-of-the-night sleep is an odd couple: an Orthodox Jewish fish store employee and a Muslim
worker at a mosque in the Old City. When receiving an alert, they each jump on their specially equipped mopeds or run on foot to save the day.
There are others like them, such as an Arab man who saved a Jewish life in a ritual bathhouse, and Beer himself, who ran out of the synagogue on Yom Kippur — the holiest day of the Jewish year — to save an Arab man suffering from a heart attack.“I don’t look at people as Arab or Jewish,” says Beer, an Orthodox American who volunteered with MDA in Jerusalem at age 16 before moving to Israel.The World Economic Forum in Davos lauded Beer as social entrepreneur of the year in 2010, and this year he won the Israeli Prime Minister’s Award for his boundary-breaking and life-saving non-profit organization, which runs on a budget of about $4 million) all of which comes from donations, mainly from Israel and the
United States.
“Anyone can join us. We are a huge national organization still run from Jerusalem. You can see an Orthodox Jew, an Arab, a volunteer ‘settler’ and a guy who’s not religious at all – all working together,” says Beer.

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