After Israel’s emergency medical team, Magen David Adom (MDA), threatened to decrease service in Judea and SamariaUnited Hatzalah, Israel’s volunteer-run emergency medical services, inaugurated a new team of first responders in the Biblical Heartland.

The team will provide emergency medical support and transport injured or ill people to hospitals or other medical centers as needed.

“We are committed to providing first-rate emergency services to the people of Judea and Samaria, just like we are committed to providing those services to the rest of Israel’s population,” said United Hatzalah’s Founder and President Eli Beer.

The organization hopes to inaugurate three more teams in the Samaria and Binyamin regions, and expand their efforts in Ma’ale Adumim, located east of Jerusalem, in the coming months.

United Hatzalah’s 4,000 volunteers are spread all across Israel with the goal of arriving at the scene of any medical emergency in under three minutes. Like all of United Hatzalah’s operations, their services in Judea and Samaria will be accomplished by their volunteers and will be free of charge. The new team includes 24 volunteer medical students, EMT’s, paramedics, nurses, and doctors in the Mount Hebron region. Hatzalah has also repositioned some of its ambulances.

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Magen David Adom made the announcement that it would reduce services in Judea and Samaria last week, after the Israeli government failed to transfer the funds necessary to maintain the status quo.

According to United Hatzalah volunteer coordinator Ariel Ben David, “This area is particularly in need of more first responders who are equipped with medical gear. There are towns in the region whose closest defibrillator is more than a 15-minute drive away in the next town over. That is an unacceptable statistic when we need to save someone’s life in just a few seconds.”

United Hatzalah noted in a press release that in 2017, the organization “added some 116 first responders and 24 emergency vehicles to Judea and Samaria, an increase of more than 25 percent to the existing manpower that was present in the region previously.”

However, they say that they are still missing some vital equipment such as protective helmets and bulletproof vests needed in the area of operation, which “is quite dangerous with regards to car accidents, stone throwing, and terror attacks.”

United Hatzalah provides coverage for all Israeli citizens regardless of religion, race, or gender.

“Our volunteers often help and treat Palestinians who require medical aid in area C, as well as Israelis, and we work hand-in-hand with both the Red Crescent and other local and regional ambulance and first response services in the area,” said Beer. “We are continuing to build up our presence in these areas so that we can hit our goal of providing EMS response in less than three minutes to the residents of Judea and Samaria like we do for the rest of the country. No one deserves to suffer, or God forbid die, when that death or suffering could have been prevented by a quick medical response.”

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Source: Israel in the News