On Tuesday morning, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife Sara Netanyahu visited the national headquarters of United Hatzalah in Jerusalem. They were welcomed by Eli Beer, President and Founder of United Hatzalah, together with the organization’s senior management and volunteers.
United Hatzalah CEO Eli Pollak gave the Prime Minister and his wife an in-depth overview of the mission and activities of Israel’s largest volunteer emergency medical service organization. Pollak highlighted the dedication of the organization’s 7,000 volunteers, who come from all walks of Israeli society and from all over Israel, and are willing to drop their daily obligations to save lives each day. Pollak presented the Prime Minister and his wife with the organization’s unique approach to saving lives and the various organizational activities aimed to advance this mission, and how October 7th was a milestone for United Hatzalah, proving its ability to respond to national crises in real-time.
Pollak spoke about the incredible heroism and bravery of the organization’s volunteers who treated over 4,000 people, including civilians and security forces, wounded or suffering emotional shock since the onset of the war. He explained how over 1,000 injured individuals were transported to hospitals by the organization’s ambulances and helicopters during the Hamas attack on October 7th and the days that followed.
The Prime Minister and his wife Sara were presented with difficult footage from the Oct. 7 attacks – footage which was captured by United Hatzalah ambulance dashcams that entered the line of fire at the onset of the war – as well as harrowing testimonies from volunteers who risked their lives to save innocent civilians and soldiers from inside the southern communities and kibbutzim which were under attack.
Prime Minister Netanyahu and Sara Netanyahu toured the organization’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 quick response time.
The couple also received a comprehensive overview of the organization’s Psychotrauma and Crisis Response Unit, which has been providing vital care to both EMTs and victims who were affected as a result of the horrific sights they witnessed.
At the end of the visit, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said, “My wife and I have come to be here with Eli Beer and the thousands of United Hatzalah volunteers: Jews and Arabs, around 700 Muslim Arabs and others, who have volunteered to help and to save lives, together with secular and ultra-orthodox Jews, 50% ultra-orthodox, people who are deployed throughout the country and give of themselves. They saved many lives on October 7, under fire, and occasionally were fired upon, and treated themselves even as they saved lives – and they are doing this constantly. I think that you deserve to be recognized for saving lives. You have saved many people and you are doing amazing work. Well done.”
Eli Beer, President and Founder of United Hatzalah, shared, “United Hatzalah volunteers were the first to arrive at the bloodiest battle zones on October 7th and saved the lives of hundreds of citizens, soldiers, and members of the security forces. I was very moved by the deep appreciation of Prime Minister Netanyahu and his wife Sara for the holy work done by the devoted volunteers who treated and rescued those who were wounded, while under fire from terrorists. United Hatzalah will continue to assist all those in need and be part of the national response during routine times and times of war for the benefit of Israeli citizens.”
“Since the very first hours of the October 7th attack, thousands of United Hatzalah volunteers worked around the clock in southern Israel to save lives,” added Eli Pollak, CEO of United Hatzalah. “Their uncompromising commitment and adherence to the mission of saving lives are inspiring. The dedication and value of United Hatzalah volunteers, both during routine times and during times of national crises, have proven themselves. 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 give the best, fastest, and most professional treatment to anyone in need of emergency medical aid.”