You don’t need an engine to get to the hospital, and you may live if you don’t rely on one. Getting help may be better than getting there.

These two different first aid services are saving lives. One because traffic jams in a crowded city and one because nothing else is available. A rescue maybe your neighbor and a ride may be from a stranger. Both may save your life. Check out The Zambulance and United Hatzlah

United Hatzlah

I was impressed and motivated when I watched this TED Talk called Eli Beer: The fastest ambulance? A motorcycle. Here is how TED describes the talk.

As a young EMT on a Jerusalem ambulance, Eli Beer realized that, stuck in brutal urban traffic, they often arrived too late to help. So he organized a group of volunteer EMTs — many on foot — ready to drop everything and dash to save lives in their neighborhood. Today, United Hatzlah uses a smart phone app and a fleet of “ambucycles” to help nearby patients until an ambulance arrives. With an average response time of 3 minutes, last year, they treated 207,000 people in Israel. And the idea is going global.

The basis of the success is not the training or equipment. It is an app and the desire to help. The app notifies everyone who is signed up of an emergency in their area. They can respond 15-20 minutes faster than an ambulance can in normal traffic.

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Mr. Beer ends the talk telling about a neighbor; a Palestinian saved his father’s life because he was trained, he volunteered, and he responded.

Zambikes

The second organization is called Zambikes Team. I met a volunteer of Zambikes at Interbike this past fall. Zambikes creates ambulances. By ambulances, I mean trailers that a sick or injured person can ride in pulled by a bicycle.

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Zambikes says it is not saving someone’s life every two weeks. That is remarkable in a country were seeing a doctor may mean a 3-4-day walk.

Both are seeking contributions. If you so feel, please do.

However, both represent some things are I feel are a little greater.

United Hatzlah is not based on equipment but neighbors. How many people within a few blocks of you have first aid training and are willing to help if they are notified. Even if there is nothing they can do, having someone there to comfort an injured or dying person has unbelievable power and value.

How many Medical Exploring Posts, Girl Scout Units, Volunteer Ski Patrollers could respond to assist someone if they only knew they were needed.

Zambikes is taking the money and solving a problem in their country with their resources. It is not a situation where we are exporting American ideas and saving lives today to create a bigger problem tomorrow. Zambikes hires locals, (now 35 people) to build the bikes and trailers. It solves a problem with local resources without creating pollution, over-population or changing the local residents.

First aid without an ambulance is still first aid.

What do you think? Leave a comment.

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