Last month the Israeli Soccer League champions, Hapoel Beer Sheva, enlisted United Hatzalah to provide EMS support and coverage for all of their games on both the professional and junior levels. Volunteers from Be’er Sheva and the surrounding area were more than happy to support their local team and the national champions as they take on the toughest teams in Israel and across Europe.
Negev chapter head of United Hatzalah Yisrael Rubinstein, spoke about the arrangement with the team. “The agreement is really mutually beneficial. We provide the team with EMS coverage and we get to give back something to our volunteers who can attend the games. We have staff on hand during all of the games and anyone we can treat at the game we do. Anyone who requires more attention and needs to be transported to the hospital, we do that as well and by us, that transport is free of charge.”
All in all, the organization brings 20-25 volunteers to each game in order to provide EMS support and coverage for both team members and fans alike.
“We are working together with the team not only to provide EMS coverage and support during their matches, but also to help bring EMS awareness to the community,” said Founder and President of United Hatzalah Eli Beer. “We are working with team representatives as well as with representatives from their large fan club, an organization that also strongly supports United Hatzalah’s efforts, to teach EMS courses and raise awareness within the community,” Beer added.
During yesterday’s European Champion’s League 3rd round qualifier in which Hapoel Beer Sheva faced off and defeated Bulgaria’s Ludogorets at Turner Stadium 2-0, United Hatzalah volunteers treated four spectators. One patient suffered mild seizures while the other three were suffering from mild illnesses and general weakness.
“Our volunteers were positioned at the corners of the field and provided coverage for the fans and the players alike. During emergencies in the stands, we grabbed our gear and ran by foot through the crowd to where the person in need of medical assistance was located. With regards to the players, we have been instructed to provide treatment only after the referees and the team’s medical personnel call for us,” said Rubinstein. He added that in early July during the first match, five fans received treatment at the stadium.
“Our volunteers love coming here and each of them volunteers specifically for this project, so they are eager to be here and eager to provide anyone in need with the best emergency medical care possible,” Rubinstein concluded.