Last week, a special delegation from Christians United for Israel (CUFI) visited the headquarters of United Hatzalah (UH) in Jerusalem to learn about Hatzlah’s lifesaving, all-volunteer, emergency medical services (EMS) model, and to see firsthand how the Hatzalah model is uniting the peoples of Israel in the joint cause of saving lives.
Randy Neal, the Western Regional Coordinator for CUFI, spoke about why this visit was important to the group. “We have a number of pastors here from different states and different denominations. A lot of them are not familiar with Israel and most of them have never been to Israel before. I have had the occasion and privilege to learn about United Hatzalah and I believe that the organization encapsulates the heart of Israel. I really believe that that the nobility and purity of the mission that allows life to trump all of the other things that go on here, it transcends races, cultures, religions, bringing Jews, Muslims, and Christians together for something that is a common denominator. Whether that is saving one’s kid or grandmother or spouse, it brings everyone together. As much as I love the organization, it is important for these pastors to get a glimpse of the real spirit of Israel. It is important for them to see what really makes the top of the priority list of the people and the nation, and I think that United Hatzalah embodies that.”
During the visit, the delegation of some 30 pastors representing communities from across the Northwestern United States, including 3 leaders from the Crow Nation, had the opportunity to tour United Hatzalah’s command center and look at the advanced technology which allows the organization to form a country-wide network of coverage. The group also got to meet volunteers from across the spectrum of the Israeli population. Among the volunteers that met with the pastors were a religious Muslim Arab, a religious Jewish female paramedic who lives in Judea, a secular Jewish EMT, and an EMT who immigrated from North America.
In addition to hearing the first-hand rescue stories of the volunteers and learning how they work together – regardless of differences – to provide Israel with the fastest, lifesaving, EMS response time anywhere in the world, the delegation also spent time with Eli Beer, the Founder and President of Hatzalah. Beer explained the history of the organization and how the model is being adopted by communities outside of Israel today.
Neal added that in particular, the leaders of the Crow Nation were looking forward to learning about the activities of the organization. “When the Crow Leaders learned about the organization they were very intrigued and looked forward to coming here and learning more about it because they have a nation of 14,000 people over a vast area and the emergency response time for emergencies in their area is very problematic and dangerous. They were looking forward to learning about this and exploring the application of such a model in their own communities.”
Neal added that he is looking forward to continued cooperation between United Hatzalah and CUFI.
After the visit, Beer said, “We are excited to work with CUFI and to share our life-saving model with people from different communities all over the world. Our model has already been implemented in 10 countries around the globe. I believe that what we have developed here is not only meant to save lives in Israel but can and should be used to save the lives of others all over the world. Following the model of pre-ambulatory response and treatment that we have developed here, and have applied to serve people of all faiths and backgrounds, the same model can be used by people of different faiths and religions all over the world. No matter who you are, or what you believe, we all believe in the same principle that life is precious and worth saving. We are happy to teach and train others as to how we go about saving people here in Israel in the hopes that they will take what they have learned and apply it in their own communities.”
Christians United for Israel is a national grassroots movement of 3.4 million Christians focused on the support of Israel. United Hatzalah is a community-based, volunteer, EMS organization that provide free medical treatment to all residents of Israel. It has transformed medical first response in Israel via its inclusive model that provides EMS response to emergencies with an average response time of three minutes. Today, this model is being adopted by communities around the world.