At 1:30 a.m. on Saturday night, United Hatzalah volunteer EMT and Deputy Chapter Head of the Emek HaHula region of the organization, Vicki Tiferet, was alerted to a medical emergency involving a threat to human life and three missing people. Vicki got dressed and rushed out of her home in Moshav Yuval and raced to the given location where the search was beginning to find the missing people. Vicki was joined at the scene by four other women, Galit Kotolovsky, Carmit Arad, Taia Kadishberg, and Dafna Abrahams, all of whom also volunteer as first responders with United Hatzalah.
Together with the police and search and rescue personnel, the five women searched through fields, abandoned buildings, and wooded areas near roadways in order to locate the missing people. As reports came in that a violent incident had transpired in the area not long before, involving gunshots, the search quickened now that the teams knew there was a clear threat to the safety of the missing people.
“We thought it was perhaps someone from our own moshav, or a nearby kibbutz, who had committed suicide,” Vicki said after the incident. “All we knew was that there were between one to three people missing. We didn’t know who we were looking for but we hoped that we would be able to help.”
After searching for an hour the teams found three men who had suffered gunshot wounds and were showing no signs of life. “By the time we found the missing people, sadly, there was nothing left for us to do but wait for a paramedic to pronounce their deaths at the scene.”
While police opened an investigation into the incident Vicki wrote a heartfelt post on social media regarding the actions of her fellow EMTs that night. “It’s a weird feeling waking up at 1:0 in the morning and rushing out to try to find a missing person. My fellow United Hatzalah volunteer women came with me. We are all mothers, some of us are grandmothers. We each have our own families and jobs that we need to wake up for in the morning. But each of these amazing women put all of that aside to rush out and begin searching for missing people in the middle of the night. We searched through fields, woods, and orchards in perfect unison while keeping ongoing communication between one another and between our team and the rest of the rescue forces. After all, women do know how to work together well.”
Tiferet continued: “These lionesses showed true heroism during the incident. After we were finished, another emergency alert came in and we responded to that as well and were actually able to treat that person and help them. Finally, two hours after leaving our beds, we headed back home. With our adrenaline pumping, it was unlikely that any of us would get any sleep during the few hours that remained before we needed to be up once again to help our children get their days started and then head off to work ourselves. This is the daily heroism that is shown by these women, who I am proud to call my fellow EMS responders, my associates, and my friends. I am proud of each and every one of them. They showed their true colors tonight.”
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