Veteran Volunteer Emergency Medical Services (EMS) personnel from the Ashdod chapter of United Hatzalah took part in a special evening that brought together veteran responders and new recruits in the city. The educational evening was focused on exposing the new recruits to how the local chapter works as well as learning from the invaluable experience of veteran first responders. The evening took place in the city’s volunteer station house.
The recruits are currently in the middle of their EMT training and will join the ranks of Israel’s volunteer, community-based EMS response organization United Hatzalah upon its completion.
“The new recruits were given an opportunity to get to know the people who have been responding in our city for years,” said Ashdod team leader Yechiel Cohen. They have been through some of the toughest response calls in Israel having provided EMS service to the citizens of this city throughout the different wars with Hamas in nearby Gaza. In Ashdod, as well as the surrounding area, we need to be prepared to provide fast and professional medical response no matter what comes our way and that is not easy for people who have never experienced it before,” he added.
Cohen is spearheading the continuing education project in the city which allows every volunteer EMS responder, new and old, to come to the chapterhouse and enrich their understanding and train in a variety of different procedures set out by the organization’s medical board. The volunteers are encouraged to train with people who have different levels of experience than they do in order to hone the skills of the veterans who can provide hands-on experience to the new recruits.
Over the course of the evening, the 40 or so responders broke into smaller groups and ran a series of training exercises for the new recruits that included CPR training for a wide range of scenarios.
Founder and President of the organization, Eli Beer, said that “I am happy that this new collaborative training program is taking place. We want all of our EMS responders to be at the top of their game and to continually enrich their knowledge and professionalism. Our ever present goal is for our volunteers to arrive at their patients with the highest level of professionalism, and for them to be self-assured that they have the knowledge that they need in order to provide the highest level of care possible. Having our veterans take part in training and exposing our new recruits to the challenges that they will face once they become EMTs, not only makes both sides more qualified and better trained, but also builds a sense of community among our volunteer responders. That is what we are all about – having the community, respond as a community.”