An underlying goal of the Hatzalah Conference will be training to provide mutual aide and prepare to deal with modern day catastrophic events around the world. Members of the conference will have the opportunity to sign up to be credentialed to respond when the need arises, to support our brothers and sisters in Israel or on joint missions bringing relief efforts to disaster areas anywhere in the world should the need arise.
Hatzalah and Magen David Adom
Hatzalah Mobilization for Israel Duty: Chevra Hatzalah Volunteer Ambulance Service and Magen David Adom in Israel (MDA) have recently entered into an historic cooperation agreement.
The agreement, signed in Israel by MDA chairman Major General Yochanan Gur and Hatzalah Executive Director Rabbi Mechel Handler, calls for Hatzalah to provide teams of specially trained volunteer EMT's and paramedics to assist MDA in times of national crises or major call up.
These mobilization teams, consisting of more than one hundred Hatzalah personnel throughout New York City as well from New York State and Hatzalah branches throughout the world, have received special training in dealing with multi-casualty terrorist incidents, risks of secondary devices, and preparation for weapons of mass destruction. Upon completion of the MDA-sponsored training in New York, the Hatzalah teams then travel to Israel for a week of MDA training and rotations aboard MDA ambulances.
The individual participants in this program must make a commitment to be prepared to leave for Israel within 48-hour notice in times of war, and help staff ambulances for two to three weeks at a time. More than one hundred members of Hatzalah have already signed up for this program, and MDA believes that will make a very significant impact in maintaining emergency medical coverage throughout the State of Israel during severe crises. During a national emergency, more than 100,000 reserves might be subject to a call-up by the Israel Defense Forces. In such an event, many vital services are depleted of personnel, including those provided by MDA. During such situations, Hatzalah personnel will arrive to staff the ambulances and provide both basic and advanced life support to all areas throughout Israel.
The integration of Hatzalah members into the MDA crews was a success in many ways. Not only were the volunteers able to mesh with their colleagues professionally and personally, but also, there was a palpable morale boost for the overworked Israeli rescuers. The feeling that Jews from all over the world are coming to help them in their most disastrous moments was wondrous and uplifting.