On Thursday, members of United Hatzalah volunteer EMS services were in the middle of an appreciation event hosted by the Deputy Mayor of Rehovot when they were called to respond to a shooting. The incident took place in the fields outside of the industrial zone of Rehovot, not too far from the Weisgal Retreat, Sports Complex and Pool, where the volunteers were enjoying their night out.

Poolside during the appreciation event for United Hatzalah volunteers in Rehovot
Poolside during the appreciation event for United Hatzalah volunteers in Rehovot

United Hatzalah volunteers are usually going about their daily lives and drop whatever they are doing to answer emergency calls as they happen. Whether these emergencies are car accidents, work accidents, injured or sick people who need assistance, the EMS first responders rush to them all in a quick and professional manner in an effort to provide the patient with medical assistance as quickly as possible. This time was no different.

The appreciation event for the volunteers that included dinner and a swim, was organized in part by the Deputy Mayor of Rehovot Matan Deal, and the Director of the Resort Baruch Ayash in recognition of the dedication and devotion of the volunteers to the people of the city. The relaxing atmosphere was broken by the alert that came from the dispatch center regarding the shooting. Without thinking twice the volunteers all picked up and left the resort to go and treat the wounded person. Unfortunately, the victim was pronounced dead on-scene.

Volunteer EMTs, paramedics, and doctors rushed out of the pool where they were enjoying themselves and rushed to the scene of the shooting. The victim, who was a person known to the police, was shot in what appeared to be a criminal incident and the police opened an investigation into the circumstances.

Yoni Rotenberg, head of the 43 division of United Hatzalah in Rehovot commented about the incident after the fact, “The volunteer responders all got together tonight to rejuvenate and take a break from their very active day-to-day routines. Much to our surprise, in the middle of the evening we received the call about the shooting, and the volunteers jumped out of the pool and rushed out to respond. I can’t even begin to explain how much that these responders sacrifice each and every day. Now, they once again rose above and beyond the call of duty and sacrificed this special evening to help another person.”

President and Founder of United Hatzalah Eli Beer commended the volunteers for their actions. “I want to thank each and every volunteer of our team, from the bottom of my heart for their continued, dedication, professionalism, and devotion in service of the residents of the city of Rehovot and the surrounding area. Dedication such as theirs is not common and they deserve the highest praise for their continued actions.”