On Wednesday morning former NBA players Mark West and Eddie Johnson visited United Hatzalah’s headquarters in Jerusalem. The visit, organized by “Athletes for Israel,” provided the basketball veterans with a unique opportunity to gain firsthand insight into the life-saving work carried out by United Hatzalah’s network of volunteers, and foster a deeper connection to the mission and people of Israel.

West enjoyed a successful career primarily with the Phoenix Suns and reached the NBA Finals in 1993, competing against the legendary Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls.

Johnson played for various teams alongside other renowned players, achieving both collective and individual success and winning the Sixth Man of the Year award in 1989 as a player of the Suns.

During their visit, West and Johnson had the privilege of immersing themselves in the vital work of emergency medical services (EMS). They met with dedicated first responders, received an overview of the organization’s activities, and were able to witness first-hand how its Dispatch and Command Center utilizes cutting-edge technology to save lives with an average response time of  3 minutes.

“It’s been amazing to witness the emergency services provided by United Hatzalah that are free for everyone and arrive in record time,” shared West. “There is much that America can learn from this, especially in small communities or areas with high traffic volume. Having trained emergency service crews nearby who can save lives until the ambulance arrives can make a significant difference.”

The experience and selfless commitment of the volunteers left Johnson feeling inspired. “It was truly eye-opening to witness the incredible work being done by United Hatzalah,” said Johnson. “Their commitment to saving lives is truly inspiring.”

“Athletes for Israel,” who arranged the visit, is an organization dedicated to providing athletes with a genuine understanding of Israel beyond the headlines. Eric Rubin, Advisory Board Member of “Athletes for Israel,” emphasized the importance of showcasing United Hatzalah’s vital work. “We bring professional athletes to Israel to see what Israel is really about and the important work of organizations like United Hatzalah. Unfortunately, the world only hears the bad stories about Israel,” Rubin stated. “Through social media and personal networks, we hope the players will tell the world not only about Israel but especially about United Hatzalah. For us, United Hatzalah is Israel, it’s what we’re all about. The coexistence among different faiths – Muslim, Christian, or Jewish – and the way they work together to save lives is a story the world needs to know.”

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