Frequently Asked Questions

Want to learn more about our mission? Here are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about who we are and what we do.

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GENERAL

What is United Hatzalah?

United Hatzalah is a volunteer-based organization which provide emergency medical response within minutes of any medical emergency for free. United Hatzalah volunteers responded to more than 750,000 calls last year throughout Israel, saving lives every day.

Why is United Hatzalah necessary?

United Hatzalah volunteers provide lifesaving medical care on the scene, prior to the arrival of an ambulance. They arrive on average in 3 minutes from the time of the call. In metropolitan areas, the average response time is 90 seconds.

United Hatzalah volunteers treat and stabilize the patient and then work with the arriving ambulance crew, which typically arrives 8 – 15 minutes after the initial call for help. In outlying areas, the wait for an ambulance can be significantly longer.

Why does response time matter?

Volunteer first responders begin treatment in order to stabilize a patient’s condition. Receiving initial treatment within 3 minutes of the incident assures a higher chance of survival in critical situations, and speedier recovery for many other injuries and illnesses. Brain damage and death transpires 4 – 6 minutes after someone experiences cardiac arrest. A victim’s chances of survival are reduced by 7 – 10% with every minute that passes without defibrillation and advanced life support intervention.

How is United Hatzalah different from the local Hatzalah branches in the US or elsewhere?

In many places, Hatzalah, or ‘Hatzolah’ is used by the local Jewish community as an alternative EMS service for the Jewish community. There is an informal brotherhood of independent Hatzalah organizations throughout the world, but from an operational and organizational stand point, most of them operate independently of one another, with each one operating according to the protocols of their own respective medical and executive boards. In Israel, United Hatzalah brought together dozens of separate Hatzalah groups and unified them into one national organization able to respond to any emergency anywhere in the country and beyond. United Hatzalah is the only Hatzalah in the world to include non-religious, non-Jewish, and female responders, and is the Hatzalah organization with the fastest response times thanks to its diverse and comprehensive network of volunteers. 

OUR VOLUNTEERS – THE PRIDE OF UNITED HATZALAH

Who are United Hatzalah’s volunteers?

United Hatzalah’s volunteers are EMTs, paramedics, or doctors – secular and religious, male and female, Jewish and non-Jewish. All calls are responded to and treated regardless of religion, ethnicity, and gender. Our volunteers come from all backgrounds, and all different segments of society, from truck drivers to sanitation workers, taxi drivers, bankers, lawyers, police officers, firefighters, felafel shop owners and even members of the Israeli Knesset. They are teachers, students, parents, children, siblings, neighbours, and members of almost every community across our great country. 

How do United Hatzalah volunteers reach the scene in such a short time?

United Hatzalah volunteers are dispersed throughout Israel and serve in the areas where they work, study and live. As soon as United Hatzalah’s dispatch receives a call, the Logis System immediately identifies the volunteers closest to the incident and dispatches them to respond. A volunteer could be working in an office building downtown and might receive a call to help a heart attack victim from the very same building. Similarly a volunteer at home could be dispatched to respond to an emergency own the street, next door, or even in the very same apartment complex to where they live. The key is in the network, the more volunteers, the faster the response. 

What are the qualifications of the volunteer first responders?

All United Hatzalah first responders are trained and certified as EMTs, paramedics or MD’s by the existing medical training authorities under the supervision of the Israeli Ministry of Health.

Beyond donating, how else can I get involved in this organization?

Organize group fundraisers (e.g, raise money to collectively purchase urgently needed equipment and vehicles). Hold a parlor meeting in your home/community. Sign up for our bi-weekly email updates. Contact your local UH representative and learn how to you can represent us in your own community. Take first aid courses and become a first responder yourself, or, for those in Israel, you can sign up and become a United Hatzalah volunteer yourself. Of course you can always follow us on social media and share our posts on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, YouTube, Telegram, and other social media channels! Spread our name!

Contact us at [email protected] for additional opportunities!

FUNDING OUR ORGANIZATION

Does the government support United Hatzalah financially?

In general, the government does not provide funding to the organization. There does exist very limited support for site specific projects based on regional support or support from local municipalities for project-related initiatives. Pretty much all of United Hatzalah’s support comes from donations from individuals and foundations in Israel and internationally.

Does United Hatzalah charge for its services?

Unlike other emergency medical services and ambulance companies, both in Israel and abroad, United Hatzalah never charges for its services and does not pay its volunteers. We work out of passion and dedication – all our equipment is provided by donations and even our ambulance services are completely free of charge!

Are there opportunities to donate in honor or in memory of others?

Yes! There are many opportunities. Any of our products can be donated in honor or in memory of others, just click “Make a dedication with my donation.” Visit our website or reach out to us at [email protected]

How can I make a donation to United Hatzalah?

Visit our Donation page and select from the wide range of donation options available. Call us at 646-833-7108 in the US or +972-2-500-2020 in Israel.

Donations in the US can be made out and mailed to:

Friends of United Hatzalah

442 5th Avenue #1866

New York, NY 10018

501C3: 11-3533002

Donations in Israel can be made out and mailed to United Hatzalah of Israel:

United Hatzalah

78 Yirmiyahu Street

POB 36233

Jerusalem 91361

Amutah: 580465979

Who supports United Hatzalah?

United Hatzalah relies on the generosity of individuals, federations, foundations and other charitable organizations around the world. Anyone can make a donation, and every donation is important, no matter how big, or how small. 

What is United Hatzalah’s annual budget and how much is spent on overhead?

United Hatzalah’s 2021 budget was $33.5 million. Of this amount, approximately 92.4% was applied directly to the organization’s services (training, vehicles, equipment, volunteer activities) and approximately 7.6% was applied to organizational management. Click here to review our 990 for 2018 (PDF) and click here to review our Audited Financials.

Do you have a Donor Privacy Policy?

Yes. Friends of United Hatzalah of Israel is committed to respecting the privacy of our donors. No donor information will be shared with, sold to, rented to or exchanged with any third party. We collect and maintain the following types of donor information: name, address, phone number, email address. We will use your information to complete transactions and to communicate with you regarding appeals, to update you about how your donations are being used, and to share with you special events that may be of interest to you. We do not retain any credit card numbers, and those given to us can only be used for donation purposes. We assure you that the identity of all our donors will be kept confidential and use of donor information will be limited to the internal purposes of Friends of United Hatzalah of Israel.

Where does the money go?

All funds donated go directly to lifesaving activities in Israel. Friends of United Hatzalah is the largest funder internationally of United Hatzalah of Israel. 

EVERY LIFE MATTERS

Is this a political organization?

United Hatzalah is NOT a political organization. We are an NGO with no political affiliation or agenda. We have volunteers from all sectors of Israeli society who share the common goal of  saving lives, and we are completely apolitical. 

Is this a religious organization?

United Hatzalah was established based on the Jewish value of the sanctity of life and on the well-known Hatzalah model, working within larger Jewish communities around the world. However, United Hatzalah has developed over the years and expanded our services to include all people, regardless of race, religion, ethnicity, or nationality. Our volunteers come from all backgrounds: religious and secular, Jewish and non-Jewish. Included among our ranks are Christians, Muslims, Druze, people who espouse no faith, male and female, anyone who wishes to help others. Our services are open to everyone, and we treat people regardless of race, religion, national origin, or ethnicity.