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The Star of Life and the Orange Star of David: A Shining Symbol of What it Means to be First Responders in Israel
In an effort to raise awareness and create a stronger visual presence in the community, United Hatzalah has rebranded its vehicles and uniforms utilizing a new logo and embracing the color orange which has been widely understood as representing the organization’s 3,200 EMS volunteers around the country.
While explaining the choice of why the organization chose to rebrand at this time and to this color, President and Founder of the organization, Eli Beer said, “I remember when I was a kid saving people’s lives wearing the star of life and dressed in Orange. I was inspired by those symbols and the volunteers who wore them.”
Beer said that the change of color and logo is far more than just strategic maneuvering to allow the volunteers to be recognized more easily in the field, rather it is a message to those in need of help.
“Our organization is expanding by leaps and bounds and we felt that it was time to embrace the new growth and development that we have thankfully been blessed with. That is why we are changing, to embrace the changing place that the organization has taken in the awareness of the Israeli populace and the international community.
We chose the new logo and the new color because of the meaning that they each possess for us and our volunteers. Since Operation Protective Edge, our volunteers have often been called “angels in orange” by those we treat. I, together with our volunteers, look at our uniforms, logo and shield with reverence and pride. The juxtaposition of the international EMS symbol for the Star of Life mixed with the Star of David are the two symbols that define us as a national EMS providers in Israel. The six arms of the Star of Life represent the six ideals of EMS first responders which are detection, reporting, response, on scene care, care in transport and transfer to definitive care.
The Star of Life is a universal symbol of emergency medical care. The Star of David is our national symbol. Combining these two elements reminds us of the messages that we as an organization, as well as individuals, of the personal focus on patient care, providing national coverage with a three-minute response time free of charge and keeping an eye on continuing to develop our model internationally and responding to international crises when needed. These are the values that we want to symbolize through our new logo and print proudly on our ambulances, uniforms, trauma and medic bags, our personal vehicles, and even on the clothing that we wear.
Furthermore, with every life that our volunteers save our symbol becomes more important. It reminds each of us that we belong to something bigger than ourselves. In the moments when we wear this symbol we represent hope and salvation for those who need our help. The moments between an emergency call being made and the arrival of the first trained medical responder seem like an eternity for an injured person and their loved ones. When a person appears wearing our joined symbol the Star of Life and the Star of David, that caregiver represents healing and all of the power, strength and knowledge of every EMT, paramedic and doctor who ever earned the right to wear these symbols.
To the person in need of EMS care, salvation is all that matters. For them, hope will now come shining through in the form of a joined Star of Life and Star of David.
I try to never underestimate the power of symbolism. That is why we are embracing this new brand so that people will always know exactly what these symbols mean. Our volunteers in the field already know what it means. But far more importantly, they know exactly what it means to the people who need us. We even know what it means to the people who think that they never will.”