A little after 7:30 a.m., on Monday morning, a 10-year-old boy was run over from behind by a passing car as he was riding to school on his scooter on Nakhal Tsalmon Street in Modiin. The driver of the car, an 18-year-old boy, did not see the child and stopped his car only as he heard the sounds of the crash and the boy was already under the car. A crowd of passersby began to form around the scene and emergency services were called.
Gilad Peled, a United Hatzalah volunteer EMT, was in a Zoom meeting in his home right down the street from the accident when he received the alert notifying him about the serious accident. He apologized to the attendees for leaving the meeting and hurriedly ran out the door. Gilad grabbed his emergency life-saving bag out of his car and ran there on foot, knowing that due to the traffic he would most likely get there faster by running the short distance down the street.
Gilad arrived there within two minutes, he was the first EMT at the scene. When he got there, many people were standing around the car and shouting worriedly about the child stuck underneath. The EMT first lied down next to the car to comfort the scared child, who could not move due to being pinned under the vehicle while wearing a full school bag on his back.
While Gilad was speaking to the child and assessing what his injuries were, United Hatzalah Rishon LeTzion Chapter Head Shlomi Ben-Ami arrived at the accident. He was on his way to work, yet took a small detour to be of help at the emergency. Together Gilad and Shlomi succeeded in releasing the child from being trapped underneath the car by cutting off the child’s school bag from his back and using a jack to lift the car as much as possible.
The boy was then transferred to the care of the intensive care team that arrived. Apart from some scratches and abrasions on the boy’s face, he miraculously seemed to have no other injuries. The 10-year-old was taken directly to the nearest hospital in light condition for further treatment and observation.
After making sure the child was being taken care of, Gilad saw that the driver of the vehicle, just an 18-year-old, was in a state of great shock and anxiety from what had happened. Gilad immediately switched roles from being an EMT to that of a member of the Psychotrauma and Crisis Response Unit (PCRU) and began to treat the young man for shock by providing emotional and psychological stabilization. Gilad helped the young man calm down and work on various breathing techniques so that he wouldn’t hyperventilate and stayed with him until his parents arrived and he had a caring support network around him.
After the accident, Gilad said, “The job of a United Hatzalah volunteer is not simply to treat physical injuries. In this situation, I understood that this boy needed help regarding the emotional aspect of the situation even though he didn’t sustain any physical injury whatsoever. After an emergency, it’s important to look around at the other people gathered around the scene and see if someone needs assistance even if they haven’t been physically injured. Often, the stress of an intense situation could affect them strongly and negatively and our job as members of the PCRU is to alleviate that stress and prevent that strong negative reaction from taking place. ”
Shlomi added a note about the importance of Road Safety, especially now since school has started up again. “Both pedestrians and drivers need to be extra careful and even more aware of the dangers on the road during this time of year. Parents must explain to their children that a scooter is dangerous, they need to be careful while riding them, and that they shouldn’t be ridden into busy streets. As scooters are fast and small, car drivers have great difficulty being able to spot them, and if they do, it is often not in time to be able to stop properly. Drivers need to be mindful that in residential areas, especially ones with schools on the street, there will often be children and must keep a watchful eye to look out for them in order to avoid a tragedy.”
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