Among the honored guest speakers at the Jerusalem Post Conference, which took place on Sunday in New York City, was United Hatzalah Founder and President Eli Beer. Beer was invited to discuss the technological advancements and social impact of the United Hatzalah model of life-saving in Israel and how it has revolutionized the field of pre-ambulatory emergency care in Israel and the shockwaves that it is making around the world.
Beer got on stage with one of the organization’s iconic ambucycles that have helped the United Hatzalah cut down emergency response time to under three minutes nationwide. By utilizing ambucycles (motorcycles that are stocked with all of the essential medical equipment that an ambulance has) to cut through traffic, and teaming them together with the organization’s volunteer network of more than 3,500 volunteers, the organization has developed a model that maintains the fastest emergency response time for a national organization in the world.
“We never stop innovating,” said Beer just before he took the stage. “Whatever is needed to answer the call and get our volunteers to the scene of an emergency faster in order to provide faster treatment for the patient, that is what we will do. It pains me whenever I hear a story of someone who suffered or died because there was a delay in providing that patient with emergency medical care, no matter how valid the reason. Time is of the essence and seconds count. That is why we are doing everything we can to cut down response time. We are continually training more and more volunteers both at the BLS and ALS levels, and we are providing them with the technology, equipment, and transportation that they need to arrive at an emergency as quickly as they can.”
The organization is living up to Beer’s philosophy and has recently purchased another 180 ambucycles, which will be used by the volunteers across the country to cut down response time even further. The ambucycles are set to be dedicated in a massive ceremony on May 26th in Tel Aviv. “This is the single largest dedication of emergency vehicles in Israel’s history. Never before have 180 life-saving ambucycles been dedicated at a single event. The organization has invested a lot of resources in this project in order to help the people of Israel even more than we do now. We will continue our efforts to cut down our response time, with the goal of eventually maintaining a nationwide response time of 90 seconds.”
Many have thought that Beer’s dream of a 90 second average response time was unobtainable, yet in major cities such as Jerusalem and parts of the greater Tel Aviv area, that average response time is already a reality. “We want to put a volunteer on every street corner and outfit them with all of the equipment that they will need to save a life. This includes a medical kit, a defibrillator, and a vehicle appropriate for their neighborhood, which will enable the volunteer to provide emergency medical services (EMS) coverage for his family, friends, and neighbors, in record time,” Beer added.
With the new fleet of ambucycles, and the 30 training courses currently underway across the country, Beer’s dream is quickly becoming a reality.