Kiryat Malachi resident and bicycle store owner Rafi Ovadia donated parts that were vandalized from a first response emergency electric bicycle that belonged to EMT Shmuel Galinsky. Galinsky’s electric bicycle, which he uses to respond to medical emergencies in his neighborhood, was vandalized over the weekend. Galinsky discovered the theft and vandalization of his bicycle when he received an emergency alert from United Hatzalah’s Dispatch and Command center on Shabbat afternoon.
Galinsky ran downstairs to get on his bicycle and drive over to the scene of the emergency only to find that the seat and the electric battery had been stolen from his bicycle. Other parts of the bicycle were damaged in the theft and the vehicle was unusable. Galinsky had to notify the dispatcher that he was standing down from responding.
On Saturday night, the volunteers from across the city took to social media castigating the thief and denouncing the action that caused the delayed response to a medical emergency.
The story caught fire on social media and even the Mayor of Kiryat Malachi, Eliyahu Lulu, who was present during the inauguration of the local headquarters of United Hatzalah and the dedication of Galinsky’s electric bicycle just a few months ago denounced the theft on his public facebook page.
Upon hearing of the plight of the first responder, Ovadia, who owns the store Bike-Station in Rishon LeZion, contacted Galinsky and asked if he could collect the bicycle so that he could repair it. Ovadia dealt with the logistics of picking up the bicycle, bringing it to his store in Rishon LeZion, fixing the damage and replacing the stolen parts. He even added some features for extra safety and convenience for the rider to enjoy.
Ovadia then brought the bicycle back to Galinsky’s apartment building where he showed Galinsky how to use the additional features, enabling Galinsky to more easily save lives. Ovadia told members of the chapter that he was doing this of his own volition and as a donation to the organization.
Galinsky thanked Ovadia profusely for his help and has already returned to service having gone out on three calls since he has received the bicycle back. “I can’t thank Rafi enough for this noble act that he has done in order to allow me to continue to save lives here in our community. It is a great thing that he has done and I, together with all the patients I reach from here on out, appreciate it tremendously,” Galinsky said.
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