Day 196: The fastest ambulance- a motorcycle?

As a six year old child in Israel, Eli Beer saw a bus blow up in front of him. Traumatised by his memories of the passengers screaming for help, he decided to become a doctor. At the age of 15, he took an EMT course and went to volunteer on an ambulance.
Jerusalem is a traffic congested city, and Beer soon became frustrated that the ambulances weren’t reaching needy people quickly enough. Aged 17, he proposed that he and his friends start a surveillance system, with the aim of getting to the neediest people quickly on foot or by motorbike. When he was turned down, Beer went out and bought two police scanners so he could pick up the information himself. Two days later, he saved a life.
22 years on, Beer has United Hatzalah, or ‘rescue’ in Hebrew. They have thousands of volunteers whose average response time to the scene of an accident is less than three minutes. They fill in the gap until the ambulances arrive, keeping patients alive. One of the reasons why Beer is most proud of the initiative, is it has brought together Arabs and Jews, all with the shared goal of saving lives. And everybody gets to be a hero.


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