More than 50 community volunteers — the Community Based Emergency Caregivers of the United Rescue program — graduated during a ceremony hosted by Mayor Steven Fulop at City Hall in Jersey City. United Rescue is modeled on the highly successful program designed by United Hatzalah of Israel, a grassroots initiative that brought Israel’s national average emergency response time down to just three minutes.
Through a partnership between the Jersey City Medical Center — Barnabas Health and Jersey City, United Rescue brings the nation’s first community-based emergency response program to New Jersey’s second largest city.
The newly certified community-based emergency caregivers each completed 60 hours of training from the Jersey City Medical Center’s EMS team. As of November 13, all graduates will be able to respond to 911 medical calls and be dispatched to emergencies. They will be able to provide immediate emergency care to victims before Jersey City Medical Center ambulances arrive.
“Celebrating the graduation of 50 new volunteer medics who will help save lives in Jersey City is one of the most rewarding moments I have had,” said Eli Beer, president and founder of United Hatzalah of Israel, who flew to the United States for the ceremony. “Sharing the Israeli model of lifesaving from United Hatzalah with this new initiative in Jersey City will help all residents and visitors to the city and will inspire other communities to follow the lead of Mayor Fulop and United Rescue.”
With the goal of substantially decreasing emergency response times, United Rescue emergency caregivers are linked to the Jersey City Medical Center’s dispatch system using a GPS-based mobile app called NowForce. When a United Rescue caregiver receives an emergency call to a nearby location, he or she is dispatched through the app and will arrive on foot, by bicycle, or on a medically equipped motorcycle. This system uses Israeli technology and techniques to serve Jersey City residents.