Israel’s frenzied paramedic

It is early Morning, Raphael Poch sits at Breakfast. His mobile phone rings: Two streets away, someone has called the ambulance. Poch makes everything, look at the directions on his phone and drives off with the motorcycle. Less than three minutes after the emergency call, the volunteer paramedic at the scene of the accident.

This happened to him this morning, told Poch, 38, hairless head, a simple pair of glasses. The press-Secretary of United Hatzalah, an orange wearing a pink yarmulke. Over his white shirt he pulled a bright orange safety vest. It garishly emblazoned Hatzalah, the Logo of the United. The rescue service offers free and quick emergency treatments for each in the country.

Fastest national rescue service in the world

The volunteer paramedics are, on average, within three minutes at the scene of the accident – in the city, but also in rural regions. The power of United Hatzalah, according to their own information on the fastest nationwide rescue service in the world.

Another special feature: Since 2016, the rescuer also provide psychological first aid at the scene of the accident. United Hatzalah has conducted research in Israel, so Poch. 70 percent of the Israeli population are suffering from a Form of post-traumatic stress disorder. “We suspect that the cause is the constant threat of conflict and terrorist attacks in our country,” says the paramedic.

Hatzalah – what is it?

Hatzalah comes from the Hebrew and means salvation. The first Hatzalah was in Williamsburg, New York, in the 1960s, in a Jewish community founded. From there, the idea spread to many other countries with Jewish Orthodox groups of the population. Today, around the world there are several stand-alone Hatzalahs: in the Switzerland, Australia and Mexico. However, these are often small, and only within the Jewish community, known or in use.

Poch speaks quickly but calmly. Again and again he is interrupted by his ringing cell phone and ensures short, that someone else can take over the use. Who gets what call, coordinated by the operations centre in the centre of Jerusalem.

Here Muslims, Christians and Jews accept round-the-clock calls, about a Thousand a day. The employees of the Central be paid for their work, many do, however, is also a kind of civil service there. In a room bustling turmoil. Who is in charge of any emergency call, is responsible for the coordination of the 5000 volunteers, give directions.

On a big screen the time is displayed, the employee is currently, on average, need to answer a call. “Just three seconds from the Moment the caller presses the green phone, until we speak with him,” says Poch. He massaged an employee of the shoulders, you’re joking, the mood is good. However, as soon as the phone rings, is concentrated in the colleague, and Poch is on the way to his motorcycle.

Stretcher-bearers cart on the baggage

Just like in Germany the paramedics are also in Israel, “normal ambulance” with professional rescue. The calls in case of emergency a always go at the same time, the monitoring center and United Hatzalah. However, the cars from the hospital often need 10 to 20 minutes, until you arrive at the scene of the accident, says Poch.

The volunteers of United Hatzalah want to close the time gap between the accident and the Arrival of the Doctors. That’s why they are on motorcycles, bicycles and small electric cars on the road, especially in the narrow and crowded streets of the old city of Jerusalem, you are progressing much faster.

Nevertheless, the helpers have everything in a Box on the back of his motorcycle Poch has the basic equipment, which also has an ambulance for initial treatment on Board. However, everything is not only in a simple execution, so the volunteers have to travel often to Refill in the Central.

A common Mission

In Israel Jews, Christians, and Muslims live mostly separately from each other – they go to different schools, different super markets. In the work of the paramedics Religion, gender or age play no role. “Everyone is a potential Volunteer,” says Poch. “The real question is, who wants to be a Volunteer.”

Ayman Ibrahim has decided and is committed to Hatzalah in every free Minute as a volunteer for United. The 29-Year-old wearing a red hooded jumper and a three-day beard, he speaks softly and listens attentively. The Palestinians ‘ lives a bit outside of Abu-Gosh, right next to an ultra-Orthodox city. The communities meet there and help in emergency situations, he says. The cooperation with his Christian and Jewish colleagues at United Hatzalah, the Muslim is referred to as a Win-win Situation.

His colleagues at United Hatzalah are lawyers, among other things, truck drivers, bakers, Doctors and kindergarten teachers. “We even have members from the Israeli Parliament,” says Poch. “Our volunteer medics to choose from different political parties, believe in different religions, and come originally from very different countries, or social layers.”

Conflicts of there but: “The idea that unites us, is to save lives together,” says Poch.

“I’m on the road, to save lives. I’ll be right back”

Ayman Ibrahim is involved since the heart attack of his father as a Volunteer. At that time, a Jewish paramedic had saved his Arab father’s life. Today, he is as often as necessary on the way to help his fellow citizens. “I’ll save every day, the lives of other people,” says the 29-Year-old. He believes: “it feels nice to win a Million dollars in the lottery.”

Like all of the other volunteers, and Ibrahim had to undergo a time-consuming training. After 200 hours of training Hundreds of applications to paramedics where the apprentices with experienced rescue to follow. Each year, United Hatzalah is around a Thousand Volunteers. This learn particular skills in the area of emergency medicine: you can quickly assess the Situation at the scene of the accident and the first life-saving measures.

The paramedics have no fixed layers, but will help whenever they can. “Everyone is planning and organizing his Job by yourself,” explained Poch. “Some are self-employed and can close your Store, for example, in the short term. A Volunteer with a sandwich, a sign on the store to the door ‘I’m on the road, to save lives. I’ll be right back.'”

On the Sabbath, Christmas, and Ramadan in use

The treatment by United Hatzalah is free of charge. Poch emphasized that this is one of the principles of the organization: “We save lives, no matter whether people have money in the account or not.” Funded by the Association only by donations, it receives no state funding. This is of course not always easy, but at the moment there are enough people who support United Hatzalah.

Since its founding 13 years ago by the fast-medic more than 3.5 million people were treated. Volunteers are available 365 days a year – even on the Sabbath, Christmas, and Ramadan. To save “life is more important than all religious principles,” says Poch. “On the Sabbath we are allowed to use the Jews actually no electricity and no car to start,” says Poch. “When it comes to saving a life, I’m doing all of this anyway.”

On religious holidays, the gentlemen take each other into account. A medic of a different Religion, then often the layers, describes the press Secretary. So, too, Ayman, he gladly takes on the services of Jewish holidays: “I’ve never had a Problem with that.”