Israel – United Hatzalah launches air ambulance unit with three BK117s

Israel – United Hatzalah launches air ambulance unit with three BK117s

20-Feb-2023 Source: United Hatzalah of Israel

United Hatzalah of Israel inaugurated its air medical unit (medevac) comprised of three helicopters and 30 flight paramedics. The unit will provide immediate air medical assistance in the north, center, and south of Israel. The helicopters, which are operated by pilots who previously served in helicopter units of the Israeli air force, will be staffed by United Hatzalah paramedics all of whom received extensive training with the airborne vehicles and evacuation techniques. The helicopters are specially equipped to provide emergency transport by air of patients in critical condition and are outfitted with special equipment from the Swiss company Bucher Industries. Additionally, the flight paramedics will be outfitted with specialized bodycams that will transmit live footage of the scene to United Hatzalah’s Dispatch and Command Center, allowing for collaboration with hospitals and doctors who will be able to provide special instructions during treatment and evacuation of the patients from the field.

The helicopters are equipped with state-of-the-art medical equipment and will be staffed at all times by two flight paramedics from the unit. The unit will be operational 24 hours a day, seven days a week, all year round, and will provide the highest level of medical care available.

President and Founder of United Hatzalah Eli Beer who was present at the drill spoke about the unit and said: “I was proud to be here today together with the leadership of United Hatzalah, including CEO Eli Pollack and Vice Presidents Michael Brown and Dov Maisel. This is a momentous day in the field of emergency medicine for Israel and for the 6,500 volunteers of the organization which provides medical care during emergencies in Israel and around the globe. These helicopters now join our fleet of medical response vehicles which include boats that provide coverage on the Sea of Galilee (Kinneret), ATVs for rescues that take place in mountainous areas, beaches, and areas with difficult terrain, and other specialized vehicles that we equip our search and rescue units with. Today, we are proud to add this specialized unit to our ranks to provide a faster emergency medical response to the citizens of Israel, by providing quicker evacuations to emergencies caused by terror attacks or other traumatic cases across the country. With just one phone call from the scene of a critical emergency, the helicopters from our air medical unit will be dispatched to the location of the emergency with a professional and highly skilled staff on board that will save more lives.”

Director of United Hatzalah’s Air Medical Unit Dana Nagler added, “The very moment in which an emergency is received that requires the specialized care and transport of the air medical unit, United Hatzalah’s Dispatch and Command Center will send the closest helicopter, which will arrive at the scene in mere minutes. After providing initial medical care in the field and making all the necessary preparations for medevac transport, the patient will be taken by the flight paramedics into United Hatzalah’s helicopter and transported to the most appropriate hospital or medical center to receive the highest level of care possible. The hospital will be updated with regard to the inbound patient, their condition, and receive as much information as possible prior to the patient’s arrival.”

The unit will become fully operational as of March 12th.

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