A groundbreaking ceremony took place in Uman, Ukraine on Friday, ahead of the upcoming High-Holiday season. During the ceremony, United Hatzalah inaugurated a new chapter in its fifth country. The Ukranian chapter of United Hatzalah will now be spearheaded from Uman, Ukraine. Local volunteers who have joined the organization to form the chapter, received their communication devices and medical equipment, ushering in a new era of life-saving capability for the responders and a new era of growth for the organization.
The ceremony took place near the gravesite of Rebbe Nachman of Breslov, whose burial location is a major draw for Jewish pilgrims from all over the world, especially during the High-Holidays which begin on Wednesday, September 20th.
The ceremony was attended by Rabbi Yaakov Jean, Chief Rabbi of Breslov in Uman, as well as by Rabbi Hillel Cohen, the director of Hatzolah Ukraine.
Local United Hatzalah volunteers in Uman will be dispatched from the organization’s main dispatch center in Jerusalem, Israel, and will respond to medical emergencies in the Jewish community in Uman and the surrounding area throughout the year, including on the Shabbat and Jewish festivals, in accordance with Jewish law.
The Israeli based dispatch center will be working together with Hatzolah Ukraine to dispatch both local volunteers, as well as those who visit the grave sites of Jewish Rabbis throughout the year. The local Ukrainian number for the dispatch center is 063-800-1221.
Volunteer responders in the country will also be alerted to medical emergencies via the organization’s emergency smartphone application.
The activities of United Hatzalah in the Ukraine will be carried out in close partnership together with Hatzolah Ukraine and will allow for a seamless inclusion of visiting medical responders to join the efforts of their local cohorts. Following immediate treatment at the scene, patients from Uman and the surrounding area will be transported to and treated at the local clinic run by Hatzolah Ukraine which is located near Rebbe Nachman’s grave site in the city. If there is need of further treatment the two organizations will work together under Rabbi Cohen’s logistical leadership to transfer the patient to a hospital in Kiev.
Eli Beer, the President and Founder of United Hatzalah said, “This is the next step in our organization’s growth. We aim to provide the fastest emergency medical response that we can to anyone in need. While our organization’s main focus lies in saving lives in Israel, we cannot ignore that our model of life-saving has been seen by others around the world who have asked for our help in developing a similar network of qualified first responders. The new volunteers in Uman who have the training, and have been given medical equipment and communication devices from the organization, will receive immediate information regarding medical emergencies in their area and be able to respond much faster than the local EMS teams which considerably longer average response times. It was imperative for us, as an organization, to set this up ahead of the High Holiday season so as to be able to provide fast and free medical response to all those visiting the gravesites of the Chassidic masters during that time. I am glad that we were successful in doing so.”
The Ukrainian chapter of the organization represents the fifth country in which United Hatzalah has an active chapter. These countries include Israel, Panama, Brazil the United States (Jersey City’s United Rescue) and Ukraine. United Hatzalah has also advised EMS organizations in many other countries on how to create a first response model that employs community-based volunteers.