In preparation for the many visitors expected to attend prayers at the Western Wall during the Fast of the 9th of Av, United Hatzalah EMS volunteers will be on duty throughout the day at the site in order to provide fast on scene emergency medical assistance to worshippers.
Security forces are expecting tens of thousands of visitors to the site over the course of the day. In previous years, United Hatzalah EMS volunteers have had to treat dozens of patients each year at the Western Wall due to crowding and the heat of the day with many of them requiring follow up treatment in hospital.
This year, as the day marking the Fast of the 9th of Av is expected to be extremely hot, the organization is calling upon visitors to attend services at the site in the later afternoon hours and to drink adequate amounts of water and hydrating liquids before the fast begins on Monday evening. During the day it is advisable to remain indoors or in shady areas so as to avoid dehydration.
With the beginning of the fast on Monday evening, and until its culmination Tuesday night, volunteers including EMTs, paramedics and doctors, together with members of the organization’s ambucycle unit will be taking shifts at the Western Wall in order to provide pre-ambulatory care.
President and Founder of United Hatzalah Eli Beer said that “In addition to our regular volunteers who respond to any emergency in the field, we have set up additional personnel at the Western Wall due to the high volume of visitors expected. While the largest crowds attend prayer services at the Western Wall on the night of Tisha B’av, many still attend services during the daytime, which is far more dangerous due to the intense heat and direct sunlight that worshippers are exposed to at the site. Our teams of volunteers will be ready at the site throughout the night and day in order to provide assistance for anyone in need. We hope that we won’t have any serious incidents and we wish everyone an easy and meaningful fast.”