Inspiring Organization United Hatzalah saves lives in the Middle East

I was watching TED Talks today and loved this one from Eli Beer. In this video, he shares his experiences growing up and volunteering in Jerusalem and the angst he experienced when he realized how hard it was to get ambulance service through traffic congestion quickly enough to save lives.

He used a police scanner to identify the locations of victims waiting for an ambulance and organized volunteer EMTs to actually run on foot to get to them quickly. The volunteers administered first aid and stabilized the patients during those first critical moments while waiting for an ambulance to arrive. This could mean the difference between life and death, as the wait could be up to 20 minutes.

As an ex-EMT and kibbutz volunteer myself, I can relate.

The beauty of this story is that those who volunteered were of diverse nationalities. Within the organization, volunteers of different religions and ethnicities save lives regardless of past conflicts between the disparate groups. It honestly gratifies me and moves me to hope, even to tears. At the same time, I’m not actually surprised that Muslims, Jews, and Christians living in close proximity in embattled political relationships want to help each other as individuals. There is something good about individual humans that transcends age-old conflicts between large groups of people. I know this to be true. I’ve experienced it; I feel it; I know it.

Eli Beer talks plainly about United Hatzalah (United Rescue) here:

It is my hope that you like it and find it as encouraging as I did.



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