Recently in Tel Aviv, the American Heart Association trained instructors at United Hatzalah of Israel to become AHA faculty BLS and ACLS trainers – in other words, giving them the ability to train their own volunteers.
United Hatzalah, an Uber-like volunteer Emergency Medical Service organization that provides free emergency medical first response throughout Israel, has been an AHA International Training Center (ITC) for the past two years.
Alon Basker, United Hatzalah’s medical division manager, was extremely excited about the fact that the group was about to become part of the AHA faculty. “Acting with professionalism and being the golden standard of emergency medicine is our goal,” he said. “We are spreading the word of the AHA throughout the country and standardizing the AHA protocols in our system”.
This organization is unique from other ITCs around the world. It emphasizes the “pre-ambulance” response, meaning they get there before the ambulance.
When a medical emergency occurs and paramedics are alerted by dispatch, a GPS system alerts the nearest volunteers, who arrive by “ambucycle” and are able to get to the scene of the emergency in approximately 90-120 seconds. United Hatzalah has 5,000 volunteers, including paramedics, nurses, physicians and other healthcare personnel, spread out around the country.