South Floridians have the opportunity to volunteer in Israel during its next war or crisis through the Emergency Volunteers Project.
EVP, an organization that assembles a team of able-bodied volunteers who are trained to provide non-military support in Israel in the event of a crisis there, will have training and certification sessions on June 4 and 5 at Coral Springs Fire Academy. Volunteers will be certified by the State of Israel, Federal Emergency Management Agency and EVP to become local and international responders through initial training and orientation meetings. They will serve in Israel for 10 days, if needed, during the next war or other crisis.
South Floridians with a connection to Broward County can join a team that the Jewish Federation of Broward County, in partnership with EVP and the city of Nesher, is assembling. The partners are looking to put together a Broward County team of 60 local volunteers that would serve in Israel if needed on behalf of the Federation. These volunteer would include: doctors, who will receive temporary licensure to practice medicine in Israel; firefighters, who will work alongside their Israeli counterparts riding on fire tracks and responding to lifesaving emergency calls; nurses and paramedics, who will provide lifesaving assistance at the hospitals and in the bomb shelters; and community volunteers, who will serve in the municipality emergency depots, deliver water and food to shelters and provide various support services in towns drained by call ups of military reserve personnel.
Brian Strelitz, EVP’s East Region manager, said, “We believe that what we’re doing with the Jewish Federation of Broward County is going to be the template that can be replicated in different cities throughout the country.”
“No Federation that I know of in the country has its own emergency response team, so this would be a first for EVP to partner with a Federation,” Strelitz continued. “They’re allowing EVP to set everything up but under their name and under their umbrella. This is totally unique. Besides the fact that it’s a first, it really gives the community something to rally around.”
Strelitz noted, “Like every partnership, every partner has their own interests, and every partner shares an interest, so there’s the shared interest of supplementing the human resource shortage in Israel during a crisis.”
“The beautiful thing about this is it’s win-win-win. It’s totally great for the shared interest of helping Israel out during a time of crisis.”
Michael Balaban, president and chief executive officer of the Jewish Federation of Broward County, said, “Beyond assisting Israel during times of crisis, the Jewish Federation’s EVP team provides a physical linkage between the Broward community and Israel during its most critical moments.”
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