On Sunday afternoon, Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz arrived at United Hatzalah’s Headquarters in Jerusalem, together with Members of Knesset Yael Ron Ben-Moshe and Ruth Wasserman Lande. The trio was on an official visit to the organization’s headquarters and participated in the inauguration of 1,500 ceramic bulletproof vests, which will be distributed to the organization’s volunteers throughout the country.
The Minister and MKs were accompanied by the Minister’s staff and received an overview of the organization’s day-to-day activities as well as its activities during large-scale emergency situations. They also received an update about the organization’s activities carried out in the aftermath of the terror attack that took place a few hours earlier in the Jordan Valley.
President and Founder of United Hatzalah Eli Beer, together with CEO Eli Polack, and Vice President of Operations Dov Maisel, gave a tour of the organization’s International Dispatch and Command Center to the Minister and MKs and showed them the network of the organization’s 6,200 volunteers both in Israel as well as in the organization’s satellite chapters in other countries. The Minister was able to meet some of the volunteers and see the fleet of vehicles and medical equipment that the organization utilizes to save lives on a daily basis.
Following the visit, the Minister and MKs participated in a dedication ceremony in which 1,500 bullet-proof vests and helmets were inaugurated in a special ceremony. The protective gear will be distributed in the coming days to volunteer first responders around the country which will allow them to respond to security-related medical emergencies in the safest way possible.
Gantz spoke during the dedication ceremony and said: “I am pleased to be here and thank all of you for your volunteering to save lives, it is as simple as that. You exemplify, both in the dispatch and command center and out in the field, your willingness and readiness to save lives by connecting those who need help to those who can provide that help. This is so important and an incredibly large task that juxtaposes vision and efficiency to create and staff the network of volunteers that brings about this result in the least amount of time possible. There is nothing more beautiful than this.”
Gantz continued: “The unity and spirit of volunteerism that you have brought to all segments of Israeli society are so beautiful and so important. I want to thank each and everyone one of you, men and women, for doing this. I want to end by sharing my appreciation for your work. There are many difficult challenges that we face, some are the work of natural forces and others are not. You are present in all of them as an organization that focuses on kindness and rescuing others. About you, it is said: ‘Whoever saves one life in Israel it is as if you saved an entire world.’ This is something that you do every single day. May you only continue to prosper and succeed. May it be that you have no work to do.”
President and Founder of United Hatzalah Eli Beer said at the ceremony: “It is an important day for United Hatzalah as, thanks to our friends in Israel and around the world – chief among them the Leona M. And Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust – we inaugurate 1,500 ceramic bulletproof vests which will help United Hatzalah volunteers throughout the country stay safe while providing the fastest response to medical emergencies in times of war and terror attacks. I am proud of each and every one of our 6,200 volunteers who come from all different sectors and communities that make up Israeli society. I want to thank Defense Ministry Benny Gantz, as well as MKs Yael Ron Ben-Moshe and Ruth Wasserman Lande, who joined us today for this important event. The Minister’s visit is a testimony to his support for our volunteers and our organization, which has revolutionized the field of pre-hospital emergency medical services in Israel and around the world.”
CEO of United Hatzalah Eli Pollak added: “It was a pleasure to host Defense Minister Benny Gantz at United Hatzalah’s Headquarters in Jerusalem today, and to update him on the incredible lifesaving activities of committed volunteers around the country. The inauguration of 1,500 ceramic bulletproof vests is a major step for our organization, which will allow our volunteers to be better protected when responding to medical emergencies. I am glad to hear about the Minister’s commitment to public health and I am confident that in every position he is in we will benefit from his support in furthering the lifesaving activities of our organization.”
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