This past Friday just before Shabbat began, an Israeli hiker fell approximately 40 meters down while trekking up the Bashisht mountains near the town of Old Manali, India. Chabad Rabbi, Menachem Bakush, who works out of the Chabad house in Old Manali was notified about the event.
Bakush, who is a trained EMT and volunteered with United Hatzalah in Israel, dropped what he was doing, grabbed his United Hatzalah medical kit and began hiking up the mountains to reach the seriously injured hiker.
“It took me 50 minutes to reach the fallen man. I drove to the closest location to where he was, then had a 2-kilometer climb almost directly up. The journey involved a steep uphill climb with a medical kit on my back. When I reached the patient, I provided initial medical treatment including spinal cord stabilization, an intravenous line, and bandaging his numerous bleeding wounds. After this initial treatment, I helped organize the rescue efforts to bring him safely out of the mountains and get him transported to a local hospital, ” Bakush recounted after Shabbat.
The hiker had sustained a serious head injury, a chest injury and other injuries to his back and limbs.
Meron Karlik, who runs an organization that helps Israelis trekking in India, posted praise on his Facebook page for Bakush’s quick response. “Bakush was one of the first people to arrive at the side of the hiker. He is a trained EMT with United Hatzalah and is used to providing initial medical care until the arrival of an ambulance. Bakush stayed with the injured hiker at the hospital until all of the test results came back. It is not easy to be alone at a hospital in India and it is great that someone was able to be there with him. Thank you to Rabbi Bakush for his assistance, and to United Hatzalah, an organization funded completely by donations, for training and equipping him.”
When hearing about the daring rescue, President and Founder of United Hatzalah Eli Beer said: “I was overjoyed to hear that one of our volunteers who lives in India, was able to assist a fallen hiker in his time of need. We provide the highest level of training and the most advanced medical equipment to all of our volunteers wherever they happen to be. The quick response and caring actions by Rabbi Bakush on Friday saved a life in a country that is quite a distance away from where our organization began in Jerusalem. This is just another example of how the revolution we have begun here in Israel is changing the world.”