By Kim Salzman |
Earlier this week I had the opportunity to visit the Karmiel Beit HaMitnadev (The Volunteer House) for United Hatzalah, one of our Israeli grantee organizations supported by the Federation’s Community Campaign. United Hatzalah has more than 6,000 volunteers around the country, including 107 medics in the Karmiel and Misgav region. With the help of their unique GPS technology and ambucycles, their volunteer medics arrive to the scene of an accident or disaster in less than 3 minutes across the country and 90 seconds in metropolitan areas. Their mission is to arrive at the scene of medical emergencies as soon as possible and provide the patient with professional and appropriate medical aid until an ambulance arrives, resulting in many more lives saved.
In 2019-20, our Federation supported the purchase of a new ambucycle for a Karmiel volunteer medic. This ambucycle was dedicated to the 11 victims from the October 27 shooting in Pittsburgh. Arik, the volunteer medic who drives it, told me that he took the time to read about all eleven victims and that he remembers the attack in Pittsburgh every time he drives it. With the help of this ambucycle dedicated to the October 27 victims, Arik is able to save lives. How symbolic.
In 2020-21, our Federation is supporting Hatzalah’s coronavirus readiness, including the purchase of 25 oxygen kit refills/replacements and 300 sets of personal protective gear. Our support will provide approximately three disposable kits per medic in Karmiel and Misgav.
The COVID-19 pandemic has created an unprecedented humanitarian crisis in Israel. Thousands of at-risk Israelis have been isolated in their homes without access to even the most essential resources. United Hatzalah has stepped up to help coordinate and deliver food packages and medications to elderly citizens, Holocaust survivors and other affected populations. One day, Arik was informed that an elderly couple in his neighborhood had run out of medicine and that the local pharmacy would soon be closing. The dedicated volunteer dropped what he was doing, hopped on his ambucycle and sped to the pharmacy, arriving just minutes before it closed. With the precious cargo aboard, he rode to the couple’s home and presented them with their much-needed medication.
Enjoy these pictures from my visit to The Volunteer House.