United Rescue, United Hatzalah’s affiliate organization in the United States, is launching its second U.S. chapter in Englewood, New Jersey. This new addition will be the sixth international chapter directly run by United Hatzalah/United Rescue and will join existing chapters in Jersey City, Panama City, Uman, Kyiv, and Cartagena. United Rescue Englewood will be directly integrated with the local 9-1-1 system and will be run in partnership with the town’s Emergency Medical Services (EMS) organization, Englewood Health EMS.
United Rescue Englewood’s activities launched with a special inauguration event on September 19, in the auditorium at Englewood Health hospital. Participants included the new class of 25 volunteer trainees, volunteers from the nearby United Rescue Jersey City chapter, and other supporters and partners, such as Englewood Mayor Michael Wildes, EMS Director Rick Sposa, and Englewood Health’s Vice President for Facilities Management and Emergency Preparedness Harvey Weber.
Volunteers will begin training in October. Upon graduating from the emergency medical responder training course led by Englewood Health EMS, volunteers will become registered Community Based Emergency Caregivers (CBECs) and equipped to respond to nearby 911 calls and provide pre-ambulance emergency care. These CBECs, who all live or work in the local community, will be a welcome addition to the EMS teams in Englewood.
Mark Gerson, co-founder and Chairman of United Hatzalah of Israel and United Rescue USA said, “I commend the team at Englewood Health and EMS Director Rick Sposa for his vision, leadership, and ingenuity in bringing United Rescue to Englewood — as well as Mayor Michael Wildes for his strong support and his inspiring dedication as a volunteer first responder himself for almost three decades. The launch of United Rescue Englewood is helping to fulfill our vision for United Hatzalah’s lifesaving model of crowdsourced first response to be one of Israel’s great gifts to the world.”
Mayor Wildes told the gathered crowd: “As a 27-year veteran of Hatzolah in Manhattan, I know the special DNA that United Rescue has. And I’m proud more brothers and sisters are coming on board in Englewood. This is a terrific initiative hosted by our hospital, Englewood Health, and our EMS department who already work so hard to keep our residents healthy. I tip my hat to the leadership of United Rescue, who successfully piloted this program in Jersey City and to the Englewood residents who have stepped forward to volunteer. I can’t wait to see the first class of volunteers graduate their training course in a few months and see the next class follow in their footsteps shortly thereafter.”
Director Sposa praised the program and the initiative behind United Rescue Englewood. “I’ve seen firsthand in Jersey City how United Rescue can save lives and bring a community together. When I left Jersey City to accept a position in Englewood, I had one condition: bring United Rescue here. It’s been a long journey, and I’m thrilled that we’re about to begin training our first class of volunteers.”
Noah Elbogen, a United Rescue Englewood volunteer and Board Member of United Hatzalah Board spoke about his excitement at starting the program in his hometown. “I’ve been involved with United Hatzalah of Israel for years but never dreamed of having the opportunity to volunteer to save lives myself. Now, with the launch of United Rescue in Englewood, members of our community have the chance to be a part of a program that is truly innovative, lifesaving, and extraordinary,”