Photo Credit: Nati Shohat/Flash90
United Hatzalah paramedics wearing gas masks at the Union Rescue in Jerusalem, June 23 2011.

In light of the intensifying situation in the Gaza Strip, United Hatzalah, Israel’s largest fully volunteer EMS organization, has raised the preparedness level of its volunteers across the country.

Thousands of volunteers living in and around areas that are under threat of rocket attacks from the Gaza Strip have been told to be prepared for any emergencies and to have all medical equipment at the ready. Among other things, volunteers have been told to unpack and prepare bulletproof vests and helmets while additional medical supplies, vests, and helmets are being distributed in the southern region and the Gaza periphery.

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President and Founder of United Hatzalah Eli Beer said: “Due to the defense establishment getting ready for another round of increased violence in the south, we are telling all of our volunteer first responders to ramp up their level of alert and prepare for any eventuality. I have given the instruction that United Hatzalah’s Dispatch and Command Center bring in extra staff to be able to deal with the call volume that may develop.”

Vice President of Operation Dov Maisel added: “Over the past few days, United Hatzalah volunteers in the Gaza periphery, the Negev, and the Lachish region have received additional bulletproof vests, helmets, and medical supplies, to enable them to provide a continuous response until further supplies can be brought at the beginning of next week.”

“Past experience has taught us that no matter what the crisis may be, our volunteers will rise to the challenge and work together with the national security forces as well as those in their communities to safeguard the lives of their neighbors, fellow community members, and other first responders who find themselves in harm’s way. It is for times like these that we train our volunteers year-round to deal with crises such as missile attacks and mass casualty incidents. I feel confident that our volunteers will once again rise to the challenges presented by this current situation as it unfolds,” Maisel said.

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David writes news at JewishPress.com.
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