This past week marked both Memorial Day and Independence Day in Israel. Due to the Covid-19 Coronavirus threat, the Israeli government placed a lockdown on the country, and people were not allowed to congregate or visit the graves of their loved ones. Since emergency first responders are not limited by road closures and access limitations, United Hatzalah volunteers from across the country went to IDF cemeteries on Memorial Day in place of the family members who couldn’t attend. They recited kaddish for those who fell in battle, placed flowers on their tombstones, and stood in silence to give honor to those who sacrificed themselves for the country.

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Yehuda and Inbal

Yehuda Hess and his wife Inbal were among the United Hatzalah volunteers who went to visit the family of a fallen IDF soldier. This family was among those who were not able to go to the cemetery and visit their lost children. They greatly appreciated the visit. Together Yehuda and Inbal delivered a single rose and spoke to the family members for a while, giving them a feeling of solidarity and comfort.

“Inbal spoke about what volunteering means to her, “When I go on a call I know that I’m being privileged with the opportunity to help and save someone and it’s a great feeling. “United Hatzalah is a family,” she continued. “My husband and I go on calls together and we come as a team. It’s a great feeling knowing that we are doing great things together and going as a couple gives more meaning to United Hatzalah being a family”.

Among the other things that he does for the organization, Yehudah volunteers as a dispatcher for United Hatzalah. Given his critical role in enabling volunteer response, he is currently not able to expose himself to operations in the field but is focused on ensuring that the volunteer force stays active. Yehudah finds working in the dispatch center very exciting, “I get to see and hear all that is done throughout the country by the United Hatzalah volunteers, and it is truly amazing,” said Yehudah. “The dispatch center is the heart of the system and I am so proud to be a part of it”.

Yehudah is very proud of his wife Inbal and was filled with joy when she told him she was going to do an EMT course. Yehuda said: “My wife graduated the course with honors and from then on we have gone on many calls together and have saved many lives together.” Knowing that he and his wife would be saving lives together made him ecstatic.

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