Tikva Goldberg from Queens, New York, grew up as a frequent patient of Hatzolah and hospital services. As a child, she suffered from epilepsy and was often in need of frequent treatments and transportation to and from hospitals. “I always wanted to give back and help others just as I was helped,” she said as she drove home from working her first ever ambulance shift as an emergency medical responder (EMR) in Israel. “The Rescue Israel program is really fitting for me in that it is giving me an opportunity to do just that,” she added excitedly.
Goldberg is one of the twenty-two participants in a program called Rescue Israel that is being run by NCSY in cooperation with United Hatzalah of Israel. The program offers a full EMR training course as well as hands-on experience volunteering as a first responder on ambulances in Israel. In addition, the participants experience a full gamut of search and rescue operations beginning with water rescue operations on the Kinneret, and desert rescues that involve repelling and mountaineering training. The program is just over a month long and participants have been ecstatic about their experiences thus far.
Goldberg said that she felt comfortable working on an ambulance following the training that she received and that it brought back memories for her of just how important this job is. “In terms of treating others, I feel comfortable in situations where injuries occur knowing that I will be able to help. For me, going on an ambulance (as a responder and not as a patient) and seeing the different types of emergency calls that occur, was both educational and motivating. You get the most amazing feeling when you arrive at an emergency and everyone looks at you like you are their hero because you helped them. Riding on an ambulance is the most amazing experience ever and I recommend this program to everyone.”