Photo Credit: United Hatzalah
United Hatzalah’s new orange ambucycles on delivery truck.

United Hatzalah’s model of lifesaving has drastically reduced response times across Israel and revolutionized the field of pre-ambulatory emergency care in the country. Now the organization is seeing exponential growth with an additional 180 ambucycles joining the fleet on May 26.

In addition, the organization is getting a makeover. The new life-saving vehicles will be branded with the organization’s newly unveiled logo, an image that combines the universal emblem of emergency medical services (EMS), the Star of Life, with Israel’s national symbol, the Star of David. They will also bear the organization’s new design and orange color scheme.

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United Hatzalah founder and president Eli Beer explained the change in logo and color scheme. “I remember when I was a kid saving people’s lives wearing the Star of Life and dressed in orange. I was inspired by those symbols and the volunteers who wore them. Our organization continues to expand by leaps and bounds and we felt it was time to embrace the new growth and development we have thankfully been blessed with.

“That’s why we are changing, to embrace the place the organization has assumed in the awareness of Israelis and the international community.

“We chose the new logo and color because of the meaning they each possess for us and our volunteers. Since Operation Protective Edge, our volunteers have often been called “angels in orange” by those we treat. We at United Hatzalah look at our uniforms, logo, and shield with reverence and pride.

“The international EMS symbol and the Star of David are the two symbols that define us as national EMS providers in Israel. The Star of Life is a universal symbol of emergency medical care. The six arms of the Star of Life represent the six ideals of EMS first responders – detection, reporting, response, on-scene care, care in transport, and transfer to definitive care.

“The Star of David, of course, is our national symbol. Combining these two elements reminds us as an organization and as individuals of our personal focus on patient care, of our providing national coverage with a three-minute response time free of charge, and of our developing this model internationally in responding to international crises when needed.

“These are the values we want to symbolize through our new logo on our ambulances, uniforms, trauma and medic bags, personal vehicles, and even on the clothing we wear.”

Regarding the new vehicles, Beer said, “We never stop innovating. By utilizing ambucycles, which are motorcycles stocked with all the essential medical equipment of an ambulance, to cut through traffic and teaming them with our network of more than 3,500 volunteers, we have developed a model that maintains the fastest emergency response time for a national organization anywhere in the world.”

The new ambucycles are set to be dedicated in a massive ceremony on May 26 in Tel Aviv. “This is the single largest dedication of emergency vehicles in Israel’s history,” said Beer. “The organization has invested a lot of resources in this project in order to help the people of Israel even more than we do now. We will continue our efforts to cut down our response time. Our goal is to eventually maintain a nationwide response time of 90 seconds.”

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Raphael Poch, a Canadian-Israeli, is the international media spokesperson of United Hatzalah as well as the artistic director of AACI’s J-Town Playhouse Theater Project. A chief sergeant first class (res.) in the IDF, he lives in Efrat.