A new dispatch center, manned by 30,000 volunteers and serving the entire country, opened on Wednesday, a press release on behalf of United Hatzalah reported on Thursday.
United Hatzalah joined forces with Lev Echad and the Israeli Association of Community Centers to create the center, which will use advanced technology to pin-point the location of those seeking help and will suggest to train volunteers nearby to offer immediate aid. The location of the volunteers will be done by their mobile phones.
The technology was made possible due to the generosity of the Family Foundation of Inbar & Marius Nacht and already gained the support of Defense Minister Naftali Bennett and the Ministry for Social Equality which will divert some cases to it.
The center also has the ability to accept video calls for those who speak sign language.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many elderly people are fear leaving their homes and, while some enjoy the support of families and friends, not all are able to fulfill their basic needs. The volunteers, while trained to offer help in medical emergency, are also trained to help deliver food and medicine, assist disabled people to get their needs met and offer emotional support during a time when families and synagogues may not be available.
Dubbed, “1221 Assistance for All,” the call number is 1221. It will operate from 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. six days a week.
Vice President of Operations of United Hatzalah Dov Maisel said that “as an organization that serves the public, we were unable to stay complacent in the face of what we recognized as a rising humanitarian crisis of national proportions.”
“Numerous segments of the population are suffering as a result of the current crisis,” he added, saying that all the efforts done are to offer this much needed help.
Volunteers come from all ages, said General Manager of the Israel Association of Community Centers, Raz Frohlich, and they are present at one thousand locations across the land.
“Together with United Hatzalah and Lev Echad, we will now be providing emergency humanitarian response while strengthening the resiliency of each of these communities during this time of emergency,” he said.
“In addition, we will be focusing on building the community resources necessary for when this situation finally comes to an end.”
Chairman of Lev Echad, Erez Eschel said that his foundation had a great deal of experience with helping organizations, naming their history with premilitary academies. Lauding the opening of this center, he added that “In partnering together with United Hatzalah and the Israel Association of Community Centers, we will work towards providing an emergency humanitarian response to the majority of the needs of the Israeli populace.”
Last winter, a young couple died inside an elevator during a rain storm in Tel Aviv when the elevator malfunctioned and water began to pour in.
The incident shocked the nation, leading many to call for a nation-wide emergency call center.