On Monday, Israeli Opposition Leader and former Prime Minister Yair Lapid and Yesh Atid MK Ron Katz paid a visit to the national headquarters of United Hatzalah in Jerusalem. They were warmly welcomed by Eli Pollak, CEO of United Hatzalah, who provided them with an in-depth overview of the activities of Israel’s largest volunteer EMS provider.

Pollak highlighted the incredible life-saving work of over 7,000 United Hatzalah volunteers throughout the country, who, on a daily basis, drop whatever they are doing to save lives. He then proceeded to spotlight the exceptional and heroic acts of the United Hatzalah volunteers on October 7, recounting how their swift response saved numerous lives in the south of the country.

Yair Lapid in front of United Hatzalahs wall in honor of the hostages 1
Yair Lapid in front of United Hatzalah’s wall in honor of the hostages

Pollak showed Lapid and Katz footage captured on October 7th from the organization’s ambulance dashcams. The shocking videos highlighted the volunteers’ valiant actions, which were carried out in challenging circumstances, including instances when they came under fire from terrorists.

The MKs were deeply moved as they heard from United Hatzalah volunteers, who were among the first to respond on October 7th. The volunteers shared poignant and difficult testimonies of the challenging scenes they encountered as they attempted to save as many lives as possible.

The MKs then heard from Uriel Balmas, one of the directors of the organization’s Psychotrauma and Crisis Response unit. Balmas highlighted how the unit is responding to the unique challenges created by the October 7th attacks and how his volunteers are providing vital care to both EMTs and victims who were affected as a result of the horrific sights they witnessed.

Lapid and Katz were then shown United Hatzalah’s Dispatch Center, which handles over 2,200 emergency calls daily and coordinates lifesaving operations nationwide. They saw firsthand how United Hatzalah’s groundbreaking technology is implemented to ensure as quick a response time as possible.

“I met true heroes at United Hatzalah,” Lapid said after the visit. “Those heroes told me stories of what happened on October 7th from their point of view and outlined their impressive activities during the following days. They went above and beyond to save lives, even while risking their own. I want to thank the volunteers of United Hatzalah for their dedicated service to the citizens of Israel and their unwavering commitment to the supreme value of saving lives.”

From left Eli Pollak Yair Lapid and Ron Katz
From left Eli Pollak, Yair Lapid and Ron Katz

Eli Pollak, CEO of United Hatzalah, shared, “Since the very first hours of October 7th, thousands of United Hatzalah volunteers jumped into action to save lives. They worked around the clock in some of the bloodiest areas in the Gaza periphery. Their uncompromising commitment and adherence to the goal of saving lives are inspiring. The importance and value of United Hatzalah volunteers, both during routine times as well as during the war, has proven itself. Since the beginning of the war, we have received hundreds of requests from citizens to join and volunteer as EMTs in our organization. The support we have received from the people of Israel since October 7th gives us the strength to continue saving lives. We, as an organization, are committed to doing everything we can to develop, grow, and give the best, fastest, and most professional response to anyone in need of emergency medical services. I want to thank opposition leader and former Prime Minister Lapid and MK Katz for coming to show their support for the thousands of volunteers of United Hatzalah and to see up close the amazing activity that takes place during regular times as well as during the current conflict.”