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A small Israeli non-profit organization that has pioneered the concept of distributed life-saving has captured the imagination of the world. So much so, that its founder, Eli Beer, has been invited to speak at the international community’s most prestigious event, the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting taking place in Davos, Switzerland, Jan, 25 -29, 2012.
Beer will brief world leaders on how he took the concept of distributed computing and applied it to saving lives all across Israel. His organization, United Hatzalah of Israel, is comprised of more than 1,700 volunteers who are trained and certified as Emergency Medical Technicians (EMT’s), paramedics or doctors, and are located in communities, cities and kibbutzim throughout the entire State of Israel.
Using proprietary GPS identification, communication and deployment technologies to minimize response times, volunteers are able to establish a life-saving bridge of medical care to more than 190,000 people each year, within two to three minutes of a distress call, completely free of charge. Volunteers treat an average of 500 people each day and individually respond to an average of 360 calls per year inIsrael.
United Hatzalah volunteers come from all backgrounds – secular and religious, Jewish and non-Jewish – and serve all people without regard to race or religion. Not only have the volunteers been able to redefine the government’s status quo of emergency first response, Arab and Jews are also working together, side-by-side, and have been able to break down religious barriers through United Hatzalah’s sole mission and unifying motivation: to save as many lives as possible.
“When I was a young boy growing up in Jerusalem, I witnessed a horrific bus bombing on my way home from school and watched people dying in vain as they waited too long for medical services to arrive. The horrific images were emblazed in my memory and ultimately lead me to the idea of United Hatzalah – a group able to save lives, Jew and Arab alike, no matter the place or circumstance,” said Eli Beer, founder of United Hatzalah of Israel, formally established as an independent, non-profit organization in 2006.
Given the success that United Hatzalah has experienced in Israel and the thousands of lives it has saved since its inception, United Hatzalah believes that its distributed emergency response model can be easily replicated to save lives throughout the world. United Hatzalah has already been recognized as an international leader and is currently collaborating with rescue organizations in Sao Paulo, Brazil.
“The common thread of life itself can create a bond that runs deeper than any religious, political or racial association. When a Jewish volunteer responds to an emergency in an Arab community or vice versa and helps save a parent, child or loved one, the community slowly gains their trust. When people recognize that we all share the same basic elements of life they are willing to come together for a common good,” said Beer.