After years of feuding, the two lifesaving organizations Magen David Adom and United Hatzalah signed late last week an agreement to establish full cooperation for saving lives while ensuring their organizational independence.
All information about emergency calls will now be shared in real time, allowing UH volunteers to arrive within a short time on their ambucycles to treat the sick and injured as MDA ambulances arrive quickly to continue treatment and take them to the hospital if needed.
Emergency calls will be made to MDA’s number 101 and also be received immediately by UH, whose volunteers will function according to the professional directives of the Health Ministry and in accordance with the views of UH rabbis on halachic matters.
Until now, UH received calls for help at its own emergency number as MDA staffers and volunteers did not always share information.
MDA director-general Eli Bin said that “as the national lifesaving organization of Israel, which is found to save lives in every place and at all times and in cooperation with all professional forces that can help, MDA welcomes UH volunteers, who will be an inseparable part of activities to save lives. The organization joins activities alongside MDA forces, and I have no doubt that together we will succeed.”
UH President Eli Beer said: “This is a win-win-win situation. Both vital lifesaving organizations will now have enhanced operational capacity and the biggest winner will be the people of Israel who will be able to benefit from rapid response of United Hatzalah first responders and the comprehensive ambulance service of MDA.”
He said that “MDA will work with United Hatzalah to establish a unified standard of training, equipment and communication to ensure that the people of Israel can receive the highest level of care in the fastest possible time.”
Both organizations gave credit to former deputy health minister MK Ya’acov Litzman for serving as a bridge to the agreement. Beer also credited Health Minister MK Yael German and director-general Prof. Ronni Gamzu for “their untiring efforts to bring an equitable resolution to the dispute between the two organizations.”