United Hatzalah completes emergency preparations for Lag Ba'omer

United Hatzalah completes preparations for safeguarding Lag Ba'omer event at Meron.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

United Hatzalah volunteers in Meron, in 2019
United Hatzalah volunteers in Meron, in 2019
United Hatzalah

On Monday, United Hatzalah completed the preparations for the massive logistical undertaking of ensuring the medical safety of visitors to Meron and the gravesite of Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai for the upcoming Lag Ba'omer holiday.

Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai, also known by the acronym Rashbi, is the author of the Zohar and the father of kabbalah. Lag Ba'omer, the anniversary of his passing and traditionally a day of celebration, will be celebrated from next Thursday evening to next Friday evening.

United Hatzalah's team will begin operations on Meron on Wednesday afternoon next week, and will continue full operations until Saturday night. Hundreds of volunteer doctors, paramedics, and EMTs from across Israel will take part in staffing the event, which will include dividing into shifts and patrolling the events taking place throughout the weekend.

A specialized command center has been set up and will manage the medical emergencies, as well as dispatching the patrolling volunteers to the emergencies as they occur. In addition to the medical patrols, there will also be dispatch and treatment points in various areas around the mountain. ATVs and medical response all-terrain-scooters (Segways) will be brought to allow for a faster response for emergencies occurring in the forested area, should they be necessary.

President and Founder of United Hatzalah Eli Beer said: "At this point, it is still unclear how large the crowds will be due to coronavirus regulations, and what the final compromise will be regarding public participation at Meron during the holiday."

"We are preparing for the largest possible scenario and have completed our logistical preparations with those numbers in mind. Our volunteers have proven how dedicated and committed they are to safeguarding the public at this event year after year. We hope that our services are not needed and that the event goes on without any major medical issues requiring our assistance.

"I want to thank the police as well as all of the other emergency services and organizations who we are working with, in close partnership, in order to properly prepare for this event. I also want to thank Yossi Shwinger and Yisrael Deri from the National Center for the Development of Holy Places who have been instrumental in making sure that all United Hatzalah volunteers will be able to provide the highest level of medical response in the most effective way, by assisting us in providing them with their basic needs."

Vice President of Operations for United Hatzalah Dov Maisel added: "Hundreds of volunteers from United Hatzalah will be active around the clock for the entire weekend. At the site, we will have nearly 100 ambucycles, ATVs, and ambulances, in addition to dozens of doctors who will provide immediate medical care at the scene of the emergency."

"We strongly encourage all participants of the event to adhere to all safety regulations and guidelines, as well as keeping a safe distance from all fires. Having learned from the tragedies of previous years, we strongly recommend that people travel to and from Meron using public transportation only."

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