On Monday, two United Hatzalah volunteer EMTs, Dovy Meyer and Yisrael Shachar, responded to a car accident near Mamilla.
“One of the many calls I responded to on Monday morning was a car accident that occurred in the tunnel underneath Tzahal square. Most of the people thankfully got out of the tunnel unharmed but one six-year-old Arab girl was trapped in the car. Her mother told me that she was blind. Shachar, who arrived with me is a father of three children. He spoke to her very calmly and explained what had happened and what we were about to do to help her. He spoke to her like he would his own child and it was very touching to witness,” said Meyer.
While Shachar was talking to the young girl, Meyer began putting a neck brace on her and prepared her to be evacuated from the car. “We were able to stabilize her and prepare her for transport primarily because Shachar had succeeded in calming her down.”
The girl was taken by ambulance to the hospital for further treatment.
Meyer said that the incident really moved him and while it was not the first time that he had treated Arab patients, the proximity to Tzahal square and to Israel’s Remembrance Day added meaning to the incident for the former Australian turned Israeli EMT.
“As we come into this momentous time in which we remember all of the soldiers who have given their lives for this country, and all those who have died for our home, if anyone still has doubts that there is good in this world and people who still want to do good for the sake of doing good, then you should look here at what is going on. Two Zionist immigrants, who moved to Israel and are volunteering as EMTs, treated an Arab girl whose family was very thankful for our efforts. Ultimately, we are there to save people and it doesn’t matter who that person is. If they need help we are there to save them. If we can help bring peace to Jerusalem by doing that, even helping to change the heart of one person at a time then that makes our jobs so much more meaningful, especially now.”
Shachar, who was born in Israel but left as a youngster and then returned later in life, said following the incident: “We arrived at the scene in under 90 seconds and we saw that there was a three-vehicle collision. The young girl had suffered a severe concussion and was not fully aware of her surroundings. We treated her and prepped her for a quick evacuation. The trauma that she had suffered was compounded by the fact that she was blind and could not see us or what we were doing. She panicked and we had to calm her down by speaking to her and treating her very gently. This organization makes me proud in that it allows me to help a child in their time of need.”
Shachar added that when it comes to saving lives, all conflicts are left behind. “The conflicts, whatever they may be, end when you walk up to the patient and begin treatment. At that moment, we had a child who was suffering and we were able to help. We don’t think about who that child is, or what religion she belongs to. We cared only about helping her and that is the way it should be.”
Meyer added that he feels “privileged to be part of such an amazing organization that can save lives and bridge cultural gaps in Israel every day.”