Following a successful crowdfunding campaign run by a good friend of United Hatzalah, Atlanta residents and friends from around the area have donated the first advanced defibrillator, which will be used to save many lives in Beit Shemesh and Ramat Beit Shemesh. The defibrillator, which cost over $23,000, has been given on behalf of United Hatzalah to the most active volunteer doctor in the area, Dr. Arie Pelta.

Dr. Arie Pelta (Center) receiving the Phillips MRx defibrillator from United Hatzalah CEO Moshe Teitelbaum (left)
Dr. Arie Pelta (Center) receiving the Phillips MRx defibrillator from United Hatzalah CEO Moshe Teitelbaum (left)

Dr. Pelta originally hails from Atlanta, Georgia. He is the only volunteer physician with the organization in the entire city, whose population numbers over 100,000 people. For United Hatzalah, Israel’s national volunteer emergency medical services (EMS) organization, this donation means more effective life-saving in an area that is notorious for having a forty-minute drive to the nearest hospital and long waits for ambulance services. Pelta was quoted in the Atlanta Jewish Times, where he explained the issues that the community is facing. “Someone with chest pains could die on the way to the hospital.”

Dr. Pelta received the advanced defibrillator from the CEO of United Hatzalah, Moshe Teitelbaum, in a special ceremony that took place at the Jerusalem headquarters of the organization. Shortly after the ceremony, the Founder and Director of United Hatzalah, Eli Beer, thanked the donors who made this gift possible. “I wish to thank all of the supporters for making this happen. It is amazing that we were able to raise all of the funds through crowdfunding ( from people with good hearts. Due to the generosity of the good-hearted people, we will now be able to fix many other hearts that are  in need of help in the Beit Shemesh area.”

Until now, Dr. Pelta’s ability to treat people who went into cardiac arrest was limited due to the lack of a proper 12-lead cardiac monitor, Phillips EMS MRx defibrillator . Previously, there was only one defibrillator as advanced as this in the entire city of Beit Shemesh, but thanks to the completion of the donation, Dr. Pelta now has a second one which is fully operational. “The  defibrillator, which is a  portable EKG machine, allows operators to monitor the rhythm of the heart, give lifesaving shocks, measure blood pressure and oxygen levels, and verify the correct placement of the endotracheal tube after intubation.”

The specialized Phillips defibrillator is a vital piece of technology that will help save  many lives in an area where hospitals are hard to reach and EMS doctors are few and far between. Dr. Pelta, as well as United Hatzalah, have strong allies in the Jewish Community of Atlanta, concerned allies who will now be responsible for saving many Jewish lives in one of the fastest growing areas of Israel.