United Hatzalah of Israel sends team to FL Condo to collapse
United Hatzalah of Israel, Israel’s largest all-volunteer EMS organization, together with El Al Airlines, began preparations to send a team from its Psychotrauma and Crisis Response Unit (PCRU) to provide support psychological support and stabilization to the families and neighbors of those affected by the tragedy in Surfside, Florida. The team’s mission will be to help the community of Surfside and those affected by the collapse of a residential condominium.
The team of psychological first aid experts will be made up of key members of the organization’s PCRU and will assist the families of those killed, injured and missing in the collapse. They will also make themselves available to members of the Miami community by providing psychological and emotional stabilization and treatment to those in need following the incident.
The unit will be led by Dov Maisel, United Hatzalah’s vice president of operations, and a paramedic, who has led disaster response missions to Nepal, Haiti and Japan. Maisel will partner with Einat Kaufman, who is director of clinical operations at PCRU. Kauffman, in addition to being a qualified EMT, is one of the top cognitive psychotherapists in Israel and an expert in trauma, grief and bereavement in mass casualty incidents. She, along with other members of the unit, served on several missions as psychological rescuers, including United Hatzalah missions in the aftermath of Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and the Tree Of Life mass shooting that took held in Pittsburgh.
Most recently, Maisel and Kauffman led the PCRU and United Hatzalah medical team to provide support for the Meron tragedy in Israel, both to the injured, the mourners and the first responders themselves who were present. during the incident and were traumatized as a result.
The team will use techniques and tools developed in Israel that have proven to be very effective in helping those who have suffered similar incidents. The United Hatzalah delegation is flown to Miami by airline El Al. Their arrival in Surfside is scheduled for Sunday, June 27.
Eli Beer, President and Founder of United Hatzalah, spoke about the preparations and thanked El Al for his help in starting the mission. “As soon as the collapse occurred, we started to prepare for the departure of the mission. When we contacted El Al about the possibility of having this mission, they were eager to help and decided to fully sponsor the flights for the team. This will be the fourth emergency relief mission led by our Psychotrauma and Crisis Response Unit in the United States in as many years. El AL is an incredible partner and we are forever grateful for their support in this mission which is to help the Surfside community which is suffering terribly at this time. I myself have been the benefactor of the kindness of the entire South Florida community during my fight against COVID-19 last year and if I could make it myself on this mission I would. I send my best people on this mission to provide as much help as possible. We are by your side and we send you the best to help you. They will be there as soon as the regulations allow us to arrive.