October 2018 -- Tishrei-Cheshvan 5779,  Volume 24, Issue 10

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Ariel Brasch and participants of Rescue Israel. Ariel is second from right

White Plains Teen Makes  Impact in Israel through EMS Camp

This summer, Ariel Brasch of White Plains, was one of twenty-two participants in a program called Rescue Israel run by NCSY in cooperation with United Hatzalah of Israel. The instruction offered a full EMR training course as well as hands-on experience volunteering as a first responder on ambulances in Israel.


In addition, the participants experience a full gamut of search and rescue operations beginning with water rescue operations on the Kinneret and desert rescues that involve repelling and mountaineering training. The program is just over a month long and participants have been ecstatic about their experiences thus far.


“I became involved in NCSY when my public school friend invited me to a Latte and Learn program in Westchester,” explained Brasch, who attends Young Israel of White Plains and the Hebrew Institute of White Plains. “An NCSY representative came to my school, Maayanot Yeshiva High School for Girls, and told us about Rescue Israel. I loved the EMT aspect of the program.


“I was very comfortable working in the ambulance because I was trained well during the course,” she noted. “We {the group} were put with 2 highly trained EMT’s. I learned to make tourniquets, how to do CPR, bleeding control and many more skills. Having the opportunity to ride on an ambulance was one of the best experiences of my life!”


 Through her travels in the country, Brasch found that the experience strengthened her bond to the land of Israel. ”I was excited to meet people that are likeminded in my passion.”


 The Director of NCSY’s Rescue Israel, Moshe (Ziggy) Zharnest has a lot of experience working as an EMT. He started when he was 16-years-old in Fairlawn, New Jersey, and is one of the trustees of Fairlawn Ambulance. In addition to being an EMT, Zharnest is also a firefighter in Fairlawn. However, he was still feeling a bit trepidatious about being the first director of an EMS summer program. “Being the director or pioneer of anything is really nerve-wracking. However, when you are working with a top-notch world-renowned organization such as United Hatzalah, and when you have motivated young men and women who are eager to make a positive impact on the world, it makes it a lot easier.”


For Zharnest, combining NCSY, Israel Summer Trips and the world of EMS was a dream. “What started off as a dream, quickly became a reality and the participants themselves are impacting the program in a way that we couldn’t even imagine. They are so excited in everything that they do and they are showing such professionalism that they are strengthening the volunteers here in Israel. I am confident that this program will grow by leaps and bounds because it incorporates all of the amazing things about Israel such as touring, learning about the country, and meeting its people first hand. But most of all it really allows the participants to give back to the country, in ways that no other program does.


“What kid wouldn’t want to go repelling down the side of a mountain with the United Hatzalah team and rescue their counselor? The participants receive hands-on medical training and will return not only as ambassadors for NCSY and United Hatzalah but also as leaders in their communities.”


 Zharnest also commented on the level of training and professionalism shown by the organization itself. “From top to bottom, the professionalism of United Hatzalah permeated the entire program for the NCSY’ers and makes working as the director a real honor for me. This whole experience has given me a lot of renewed energy to continue to pursue my own EMS career back home as well.”


 “I would definitely recommend this program to a friend because you are given an unbelievable opportunity to discover the land of Israel in depth, while becoming a First Responder,” 16 year old Brasch concluded.  “From a young age, I have always known that I wanted to go into Medicine, and this trip has reinforced my passion.”