Travel by ambulance is often the only option for a person confined to a wheelchair or a bed. Regular treatments or therapy require the patient to travel to the clinic and incur astronomical expenses on a weekly basis. Israel’s health insurance funds cover transportation costs only for specific types of treatments – and even then, only up to 50% of the cost will be refunded. Ezer Mizion, with its fleet of 20 ambulances, offers comfortable ambulance transport to destinations throughout the country – at no charge, saving Israel’s handicapped population millions of dollars a year. The Ezer Mizion Ambulance and Transport Division was established to allow these people to transcend their physical challenges and get from one place to another safely, comfortably and with dignity.
In addition to the wheelchair-bound population, there are many people who do not require ambulance transport but are too ill or frail to drive and cannot use public transportation. To meet the needs of these people, Ezer Mizion’s ambulance fleet is augmented by hundreds of volunteer vehicles. Volunteer drivers are matched with those in need of rides to medical appointments, treatments, or other destinations. This service is invaluable to people who require assistance into and out of vehicles and to those who are unable to travel alone.
Ezer Mizion’s ambulance drivers are certified emergency medical technicians and are trained to respond to crisis situations such as road accidents, terror attacks, and medical emergencies. In addition to their excellent driving and first aid skills, Ezer Mizion ambulance drivers are caring, and courteous people who are sensitive to the needs and feelings of the people they transport. The drivers assist their passengers into and out of their homes, often carrying them up and down stairs to upper-story apartments in buildings without elevators.
Ezer Mizion’s Ambulance and Transport Division fills another important role: giving people the opportunity to talk to someone who cares. Homebound, handicapped and elderly people are frequently socially isolated, and suffer from extreme loneliness. The people who drive Ezer Mizion’s ambulances do more than just drive: they offer empathy, support, warmth and friendship.
In addition to transporting disabled people to medical appointments and treatment centers, Ezer Mizion’s ambulances take people to many other important destinations. The ambulances provide transportation to special events such as weddings, bar mitzvahs or graduation ceremonies, enabling the handicapped and homebound to take full part in family celebrations. Ezer Mizion also runs a Make-a- Wish program to help homebound, elderly people fulfill wishes they cannot realize on their own. The Ambulance and Transport Division plays an important role in allowing these golden agers to visit loved ones, participate in special occasions, and go to places that would otherwise be inaccessible to them.
Ezer Mizion would like to thank the major sponsors of its ambulance program for their support: