Arab And Jewish Cooperation Leading To Improved Emergency Medical Response In The Negev And Galilee

On Tuesday, Interior Minister and Minister of the Development of the Periphery, Negev and Galilee Aryeh Deri together with United Hatzalah and Alumni of the Wexner Foundation for the Propagation of Excellence in the Public Sector, inaugurated a special project that will result in a lessening of emergency medical response time in the Negev and Galilee. The inauguration ceremony took place in the town of Shibli-Umm Al-Ghannam at the regional headquarters. Under the auspices of the project, 330 new EMTs will be trained to provide emergency medical response under the auspices of United Hatzalah.

Minister Deri with new volunteers from Shibli

Minister Deri with new volunteers from Shibli

Minister Deri said during the event that “Our goal is to place a medical responder in each locale, every town and city should have a medical responder available nearby for anyone in need. We know that there is a difference between arriving at the scene in 90 seconds, in three minutes or in five minutes. Every minute is a matter of life and death, and this project will result in more lives being saved.”

The Director of United Hatzalah Moshe Teitelbaum added to the Minister’s comments and said “With the help of the Ministry of the Development of the Periphery, we are aiming to add 330 new volunteers in more than 30 locations across these areas of the country. Sadly, in these areas, it can take ambulances a long time to arrive at the scene of a medical emergency. Meanwhile, during that crucial time, a volunteer EMT can arrive with all of the proper medical equipment necessaries and begin lifesaving treatment.

The Mayor of the Shibli-Umm Al-Ghannam Regional Council, Naim Shibli, also added that “There is terrific cooperation between Arabs and Jews who go out to save lives and provide medical treatment to anyone who needs it free of charge. I am very happy to be part of such a project.”

Thanks to the support of the Ministry, dozens of EMTs have just completed their EMT training course and participated in the inauguration on Tuesday. These EMTs include both Jewish and Arab volunteers, who will now provide emergency medical response in the peripheral areas of the Galilee and the Negev. They will be joined by another 330 EMTs who will be trained in the near future to provide faster and more comprehensive medical responses in those areas.

Jews and Arabs conversing together after the dedication in Shibli

Jews and Arabs conversing together after the dedication in Shibli

The graduated EMTs were presented with medical kits by United Hatzalah during the ceremony and a new course began aimed at continuing to increase the number of responders in the Galilee.

 (Photo Credit: Shmulik Hershkopf – United Hatzalah)
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