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Israeli EMS Innovation Gathers Steam at International EMS World Expo



Rob Lawrence of the board of EMS WORLD presenting the United Hatzalah concept of community responders as the solution for lack of funds and need for good effective fast response. (Photo Credit: Untied Hatzalah)

Last week the EMS World Expo took place in New Orleans and among the over 5,000 distinguished EMS leaders from around the world who were in attendance were, the Senior Vice President of International Operation of United Hatzalah Dovi Maisel and the Director of International Operations for United Rescue Shai Jaskoll.

Among the topics discussed by the top industry experts who attended the five-day-long conference was the ability to meet the challenges of an ever-changing healthcare system and the implementation of new and innovative solutions to problems in the field. The representatives of Israel’s national volunteer EMS organization United Hatzalah, and Jersey City’s community-based EMS response organization United Rescue shared the expertise accrued by both organizations. Among the messages delivered by the Israeli experts was the concept of the community’s role in medical emergency response and the paradigm shift of how we look at the next generation of EMS.

“We had many meetings with like-minded organizations the results of which, will bear fruit in the coming months. We hope that via these meetings United Hatzalah and United Rescue together with our partnering organizations will be at the forefront of innovative, technological, life-saving solutions at the operational and community levels,” said Maisel.

The exposure that the two sister organizations received due to the expo was first-rate. “The conference allowed us to not only teach others about the techniques we developed in responding to mass casualty incidents (MCIs) and terror attacks, but it also allowed all of the organizations there to learn from one another, to share ideas and to generate new and innovative solutions for the challenges faced by all EMS responders across the world,” Maisel added.

“The level of experience that we have in Israel in dealing with terror attacks and MCIs is unfortunately very extensive, and that makes us unique. We used the conference as an opportunity to share the knowledge and expertise that we have accumulated with others in the hopes that should they ever need it, they will be better equipped to handle these types of situations.”

Both Maisel and Jaskoll gave lectures about Israeli innovations in the field of EMS at the conference. The topic of the lectures was “The Paradigm Shift in EMS and Creating the Community’s Role in Emergency Response and Disaster Preparedness”.

Jaskoll said after the event that “It was amazing to share ideas with EMS leaders from across the globe. The idea of how we implement the CBEC (Community based emergency caregiver) model in Jersey City and United Hatzalah’s model of community-based EMTs and Paramedics on even a national scale is truly amazing. To see the idea, that was started by United Hatzalah Founder and President Eli Beer, begin to spread worldwide is breathtaking. The effect that his dream is having on the worldwide community is getting stronger and is saving lives.”

Jaskoll said that the audience received the lectures with open arms and was truly excited by the idea of community involvement in life-saving. “The message was that people don’t have to rely only on traditional “top-down” methods of emergency response. The idea of enhancing community involvement and increasing cooperation with existing emergency response infrastructure will have a direct impact on quality of life, health and community resiliency.”

In reflecting on the messages of the conference Jaskoll added that “I gained a new understanding about how it really doesn’t make a difference what country or state people come from. Over 45 countries were represented at the conference and everyone here has a desire to help others. People are people, the desire to help save lives, to improve the quality of life, and improve response times is international. Our innovation is to set about improving response times by enabling the community to work more closely with EMS personnel and take responsibility for saving lives. Helping spread Eli Beer’s life-saving vision around the globe is humbling and exciting.”

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