On Monday afternoon, Hoshanah Rabbah, at around 12:00 p.m., a 47-year-old man fell from the height of around 7 meters while on a ropes course at the Tower of David in the Old City of Jerusalem. He was rappelling down the building when the rope that was supporting him gave way and he fell to the ground. The man received some minor cuts and bruises but most of the damage occurred internally when he landed on his head.

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United Hatzalah ambucycle and ambucar by the Tower of David during the incident

United Hatzalah volunteer EMT Raphael Morris, who lives in Shilo, was on a family trip with his wife and four children touring the Old City when the man fell. Just as they had reached the Jewish Quarter of the Old City he was notified about the emergency. Raphael ran to the Tower and in less than a minute was directed by passersby to the injured man.

The man was lying on the ground when Raphael got there and he quickly kneeled by his side to assess the situation. The patient was conscious but very disoriented and wasn’t cognizant of where he was, what day it was, what happened to him, etc. He had bruising on his neck, head, and arms from the impact of the fall, as well as some minor abrasions which the trained EMT cleaned and treated.

Simultaneously, Doctor Arie Jaffe, a United Hatzalah volunteer from Jerusalem, arrived and they continued the treatment together. Dr. Jaffe was on his way home from shopping for the holiday, at the intersection right near his house, when he received the alert and immediately turned around and headed to the Tower of David.

Together Raphael and Doctor Jaffe did a complete neurological analysis on the patient, checked his blood pressure, pulse, and examined his spinal cord in case of injury from the crash.

Then, just as the ambulance was pulling up, United Hatzalah Chief Paramedic Avi Marcus arrived after also receiving the alert. Marcus, who lives in Petach Tikvah, was in Jerusalem for a meeting that was taking place close by. Avi assisted the other United Hatzalah volunteers in bandaging the injured man’s head and arms and put him on the stretcher to be brought by the ambulance to the intensive care unit at the nearest hospital.

Raphael spoke about the dedication and diversity of the group he was working with and said, “In many emergencies that we respond to, each of the volunteers come from different places or backgrounds and we drop everything to respond to the emergency and work together quickly and seamlessly. It is truly inspiring to be a part of such a terrific flashmob of lifesaving. Even if we are unfamiliar personally with one another and come from different places, the work that we do as United Hatzalah volunteers brings us together. What I think is so amazing about United Hatzalah is the unity and pure kindness that brings us together, we treat the patient no matter who it is and no matter who we are working with as we all share the same goal.”

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