New York City-based Air Ambulance Company Jet911 invited Israeli voluntary emergency response organization United Hatzalah to join a multi-organization mission to Haiti to bring disaster and medical relief following the destruction left on the island by Hurricane Matthew earlier this month.

The team departed from New York on October 25 in multiple aircraft, carrying medical teams and thousands of pounds of medical supplies and equipment to Port Au Prince. From the capital, the volunteers took a local flight and then a boat to one of the islands hit hardest by Hurricane Matthew.

Pilot and paramedic Eli Rowe, CEO of Jet911, asked United Hatzalah Senior Vice President of International Operations Dovi Maisel to accompany the mission. Rowe worked with Maisel in Haiti after the deadly earthquake of January 2010, and knew of Maisel’s team-leading efforts on behalf of United Hatzalah in Nepal, Ukraine and other remote locales.

“It was a great feeling to receive an invitation from such a great organization as Jet911 and Eli Rowe to accompany this important humanitarian mission,” said Maisel. “The fact that Eli reached out to us to help is due to our previous collaborative efforts and friendship as well as our vast experience in dealing with disaster situations.”

Jet911's joint teams bringing medical equipment to Haiti. Photo courtesy of United Hatzalah
Jet911’s joint teams bringing medical equipment to Haiti. Photo courtesy of United Hatzalah

Meanwhile, Yotam Polizer of IsraAID: The Israel Forum for International Humanitarian Aid reports that its disaster response team, trauma specialists and water engineers are working day and night to help the victims affected by Hurricane Matthew.

“Due to our long term presence in Haiti (since the earthquake in 2010), and our team of both Haitian and international specialists, we were able to respond immediately and to provide emergency relief in the affected areas within less than 24 hours,” said Polizer.

At the same time, IsraAID is recruiting its first US-based team with support from the Koret Foundation. The goal is to add staff, interns and volunteers who will be able to join IsraAID’s missions worldwide, said Polizer.