Iowa will fund a pilot program to test the efficacy of the United Hatzalah emergency response model in rural parts of the state, according to Iowa Lt. Gov. Adam Gregg.

Gregg, who was sworn in for a second term on Jan. 10, along with Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds, said they had learned about the model during a trade mission to Israel last year when they visited the organization’s headquarters in Jerusalem.

“When an emergency occurs and 911 is called, nearby trained volunteers are alerted through an app on their phone, allowing them to respond quickly and stabilize the patient until an ambulance arrives,” said Gregg during his inaugural speech. “This Israeli model has driven down response times in Jerusalem to 90 seconds on average.”

He described it as Uber for emergency medical services, and said, “We believe this concept can be adapted to help us address our EMS challenges in rural Iowa. And we’ll be funding a pilot program to do just that.”

“Our goal in all of this is to give Iowans the freedom to build the life they dream of no matter where they live, preserving and empowering rural Iowa, and all of Iowa, means preserving the freedom and the values that underlie it,” he added.

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