The American Heart Association, which has some 700 international training centers around the world, has chosen the voluntary United Hatzalah organization to be its official training partner in Israel.

Glenn Vanden Houten, the AHA’s regional director for Europe and Africa, said on Thursday that “United Hatzalah has become one of our authorized training centers. We are proud that you have become part of that family.”

The authorization provided by the AHA recognizes the speedy rescue education and training of its emergency medical technicians and paramedics as well as other community-based training initiatives such as the Family First project, which teaches basic cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) skills to the general public in a four-hour class.

“Both the basic life support education as well as the advanced life support training that UH does will now come with international standardization. The idea is that the courses that are taught in UH are the same courses that are taught in San Francisco, Italy and the rest of the world. It is standardized resuscitation training throughout the world. We are very proud to be part of UH and to have a recognition from the Israeli side as well.”

Vanden Houten met with United Hatzalah’s chief medical supervisors including Alon Basker, manager of its medical division, and Itzik Chachmon, the division’s project manager. Also present was Dr. Kathryn Taubert, the American Heart Association’s vice president of international science and health strategies.

“The AHA is very proud to be here and to fully establish this partnership, as we know that properly administered CPR saves lives,” Taubert said. “We are very appreciative of UH for partnering with us, but the person who is most appreciative is the one who receives the professional level of CPR that is being administered by your volunteers. The UH model as we have seen it is fantastic.

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