An Israeli medical emergency organization has trained Bedouin men and women as EMTs, thus providing fast and professional emergency medical response in their hometowns.
A new team of 13 Bedouin women and four men from the towns of Shibli and Umm al-Ghanam have recently completed their training to become EMS first responders and have begun to provide emergency medical services in their vicinity.
The new graduates volunteer as medical first responders in their hometowns as well as the Arab and Jewish towns in their environs, as part of the national Israeli EMS volunteer organization United Hatzalah.
“The new group of volunteers are very close-knit and very excited to learn these new skills and be able to provide EMS services in their communities,” said EMS instructor Samara Allah, the United Hatzalah instructor who taught the group of new EMTs. “The women in the group are especially excited as it allows them to help those in need around them, something which they all have a strong desire to do”
United Hatzalah Founder and President Eli Beer expressed his appreciation for the new volunteers.
“One of the main reasons why we felt that this project was important is because the women who make up the crux of this course often stay at home or work in their towns during the day, much more than the men do. Thus, these new volunteers will be able to provide an emergency medical response in their towns during the daytime hours something which has been lacking thus far,” Beer stated.
Beer added that United Hatzalah is working to increase the number of volunteers in the Galileeand Israel’s periphery in an effort to reduce EMS response times across the area, and especially in outlying Bedouin villages that often have long waits for ambulances.
“It is important to us to provide fast and professional emergency medical response to all of Israel’s citizens, regardless of their race, religion, ethnicity or gender,” Beer said.