When emergencies occur, rapid medical treatment increases chances of survival exponentially. Using specially equipped motorcycle ambulances, United Hatzalah’s network in Israel, of more than 5,000 volunteer medics help save thousands of lives each year across Israel by providing medical treatment in an average response time of 3 minutes or less. The humanitarian services are free, universal and available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
On a recent day at 11:15PM Khaled Rishek, a Muslim volunteer EMT with United Hatzalah who lives in Jerusalem, was at home preparing to go to sleep when he received an urgent alert from United Hatzalah’s Dispatch and Command Center. The emergency took place when a 30-year-old woman was in a major car accident on Derech Hevron road. The woman had been speeding down the street when she lost control of the vehicle causing it to slam into a guardrail and flip upside down.
Khaled immediately jumped out of bed, grabbed his jacket and helmet, and raced to the scene on his ambucycle. Khaled, together with other United Hatzalah responders (including a doctor in a United Hatzalah ambulance) assisted in extricating the woman from her overturned vehicle, staunched the bleeding from her facial wounds, applied trauma bandages, affixed a neck brace, performed a field neurological assessment, and helped the woman recover from the emotional shock of the incident.
Amazingly, despite the severity of the crash the lucky woman escaped with relatively few injuries. After the initial treatment she was rushed to the nearest trauma center in a United Hatzalah ambulance.
After the incident Khaled said: “I am very proud to see my fellow Muslim volunteers from across Jerusalem responding to emergencies with me. In this incident, all of the volunteers who arrived at the scene, including the doctor, are Arab-Israelis who feel a tremendous sense of pride and responsibility being United Hatzalah responders. We all believe that no matter who you are you have a responsibility to help, and that no matter who is in need of help we have a responsibility to help them, regardless of religion, race or gender. All of United Hatzalah’s volunteers, Muslim, Christian and Jewish and alike, are always ready, at any moment, to rush out to save a life.”