In Iowa, sparsely populated rural areas exist with emergency medical services response times that are so long that they sometimes prove deadly. Now, the Hawkeye state is turning to the Jewish state’s United Hatzalah for help.
“When an emergency occurs and 911 is called, nearby trained volunteers are alerted through an app on their phone, allowing them to respond quickly and stabilize the patient until an ambulance arrives,” Iowa Lt. Gov. Adam Gregg said during his inaugural address in Des Moines. He described the United Hatzalah method as Uber for emergency medical services.
“We believe this concept can be adapted to help us address our EMS challenges in rural Iowa — and we’ll be funding a pilot program to do just that,” he said.
“Our goal in all of this is to give Iowans the freedom to build the life they dream of no matter where they live. Preserving and empowering rural Iowa, and all of Iowa, means preserving the freedom and the values that underlie it.”
With emergency response times presenting a formidable problem in Iowa’s rural areas, Gregg said he hoped to tackled the long-standing issue “with an assist from our friends in the Holy Land.”
He learned about the United Hatzalah model during a trade mission to Israel, and he met with United Hatzalah founder Eli Beer last summer.
“If I had to compare parts of Israel to Iowa, it would be maybe the Golan Heights or the Negev and we have incredible response times there,” Beer told VIN News. “More people around the world die waiting for help than they do from disease and that is preventable. If millions of people around the world get trained to handle nearby emergencies, a lot more people would survive heart attacks, car accidents and strokes.”