A heartwarming ceremony took place on Thursday morning at United Hatzalah’s headquarters in Jerusalem as a state-of-the-art emergency car was dedicated in memory of the late Lucy, Maia, and Rina Dee, who were killed in a horrific terror attack in the Jordan Valley in April. The moving event was attended by Rabbi Leo Dee, husband of Lucy and father of Maia and Rina, along with Avi Tobias, the generous donor of the vehicle, United Hatzalah CEO Eli Pollack, and Vice President of Operations Dov Maisel.
After Rabbi Dee cut the ribbon, the car was unveiled with a dedication text: “In loving memory of Lucy, Maia and Rina Dee H”YD. May their life and memory endure as a blessing to their family and all of Am Yisrael. Am Yisrael Chai – Ilana and Avi Tobias.” Under the text was a photo of Lucy, Maia and Rina. The other side of the vehicle features the three questions Lucy Dee used to emphasize one should ask themselves at all times: “What have I done for someone else? What has someone else done for me? What has G-d done for me?”
The vehicle, which was donated by Avi Tobias, is a new concept developed for the organization in order to provide a fast response both in the city and in rural areas in difficult terrain. The vehicle is a specially equipped SUV 4×4 outfitted with advanced lifesaving equipment that will allow the doctor who drives the vehicle to perform advanced lifesaving treatments in the field prior to the arrival of an ambulance. Included in the vehicle are a built-in ventilator, an ultrasound machine, an advanced Corpuls heart monitor, specialized lighting systems, and two advanced communication systems including a radio-based system that will work even in areas where there is no cellphone reception, as well as other features. The vehicle can seat six up to six responders in order to maximize life-saving capabilities in critical situations.
Dr. Yishai Ben Uri, a pediatrician and United Hatzalah volunteer, will be entrusted with the vehicle. Dr. Ben Uri lost his private vehicle, along with all the advanced medical equipment it contained, in an arson attack in the neighborhood of Silwan in Jerusalem in October 2022. This new car will empower him to continue his crucial work, saving lives and providing vital medical assistance to those in need.
During the ceremony, Rabbi Dee shared his gratitude and said, “Tisha B’av is the saddest day of the year, but also the day when Mashiach will be born, which teaches us that from our greatest suffering also comes our greatest salvation. Avi and United Hatzalah have created an amazing path to geula (redemption), and I thank them from the bottom of my heart.”
Avi Tobias spoke tearfully about his motivation for dedicating the car in memory of the Dee family. He emphasized the need for unity among the Jewish people stressing that “We are all one family, our lev (heart) is all one and we need more unity. It is what will bring the geula (redemption) to the Jewish people and this is what United Hatzalah is all about,- bringing people together. It should be a zechus (merit) for the neshamos (souls) of Rabbi Dee’s wife and children and their neshamos should have an aliyah (ascension to Heaven).”