Moshe Bar Siman-Tov the Director of the Health Ministry toured United Hatzalah headquarters in Jerusalem on Wednesday and was impressed by what he saw.  Following the visit Bar Siman-Tov said that he sees United Hatzalah as an integral part of the emergency rescue services in Israel. “We all wish to thank you for your readiness and your motivation to be involved,” Siman-Tov said to a group of volunteers gathered for the occasion. “You play a vital role in the national system. It is a great opportunity for you and for the organization, but that comes hand in hand with a great responsibility. All of us at the Health Ministry wish you much success in continuing to grow and develop. Rise and succeed.”

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Mr. Moshe Bar Siman-Tov (center) meets Psychotrauma and Crisis Response Unit volunteers Batya Jaffe (in vest) and Lucy the dog at United Hatzalah Headquarters.

United Hatzalah Director Moshe Teitelbaum and Vice President Eli Pollack together with the professional staff of the organization showed Bar Siman-Tov and the other members of the Health Ministry who attended, how the Dispatch and Command Center succeeds at monitoring all 4,000 people who make up the network of volunteers of the organization.  The Director also received overviews of how the organization operates during regular occurrences and in a crisis situation and how the organization and its volunteers work together with the rest of Israel’s emergency first responders in order to provide comprehensive life-saving coverage and field rescues.

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Mr. Moshe Bar Siman-Tov tours United Hatzalah’s national dispatch center.

Among the many people and divisions of the organization that the Director got to see was Batya Jaffe and her dog Lucy, who were the first members of the organization’s Psychotrauma and Crisis Response K-9 Unit. The innovation of utilizing K-9’s as part of the Psychotrauma Unit has been in place for almost two years and the team has provided emotional and psychological support to countless people at the scenes of major traumatic incidents across Israel. Together with other members of the Psychotrauma Unit, the team has increased exponentially from its original 30 responders and now numbers close to 700 volunteers. With the recent graduation of its course in Sderot and the Negev, the Unit has completed its network across the country and can provide their services to anyone in Israel suffering from severe psychological or emotional stress reaction after witnessing a traumatic incident. This unit is just one of the many that are unique to United Hatzalah and constitutes the organization’s continued efforts to develop and innovate solutions to alleviate suffering, both physical and emotional.

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High ranking members of Israel’s Health Ministry and United Hatzalah pose together in front of the National Dispatch Center

Following the visit, President of United Hatzalah Eli Beer said: “I wish to thank the Director of the Health Ministry and his staff who came to visit our headquarters today and gain a true understanding of what we do and how effective our volunteers are. Our deep connection with the staff of the Health Ministry benefits the organization as well as the Ministry. We are certain that this visit will only improve the current situation and hopefully bring about the full implementation of the agreement reached in July of 2017 with regards to the activities of all of the emergency medical responders in the country receiving the necessary medical information that they need in order to provide the fastest possible response for those in need of assistance.

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