IsraelSeen Exclusive – Always in Service – A Pre-Shabbat Rescue
This past Friday afternoon, Neriya Chala was just exiting the shower when he received an urgent call from United Hatzalah dispatch alerting him to a serious motor vehicle accident that occurred near his home in Hadera. He quickly dried himself off, threw on his clothes and raced to the scene of the accident on his lifesaving ambucycle. He sped over with sirens blaring and arrived at the scene in less than three minutes!
Chala found two vehicles nearly crushed in the collision, their drivers were still trapped inside. He worked at a feverish pace, taking vital signs and providing initial immobilization for the two young men. One of the drivers was suffering from intense chest pains and appeared to have sustained significant internal injuries. Chala carefully provided treatment and assessment for each of the victims, as both remained stuck in their badly damaged vehicles.
“It’s a unique feeling to go into the shower with your radio. It has a special place on the windowsill so that it won’t get wet. When it goes off I rush out to the emergency and this time, I arrived first at the scene as often happens with accidents due to the ability of the ambucycle to cut through traffic jams caused by accidents. I drive to take control of the scene, to stabilize the injured and make sure that good-intentioned passersby don’t help the injured out of the cars cuz that may injure them further. I saw oil on the ground and called for the Fire and Rescue Department as one of the cars was a hybrid and there was a possibility of conflagration.”
Firefighters soon joined Chala and the other first responders who had gathered at the scene and began to extricate the drivers. They proceeded with extreme caution and finally, the victims were safely removed. The Mobile Intensive Care Units (MICU) arrived shortly thereafter and the assembled rescue team assisted as the injured men were placed on backboards and transferred to the back of the ambulances. With the injured drivers being taken to hospital and Chala’s work completed, he raced back to his family, making it home just in time for Shabbat.
“These are the most stressful hours of the week in the house. You leave 30 minutes before Shabbat and everything is crazy. When you have to leave and help others and there is a major life-threatening situation nearby you simply have to go out help, there are no questions. I got the questions when I come back from my twins who are five-years-old. They ask me what happened and if everything is okay. By now, they know what not to ask and what they are allowed to ask, what I will answer and what I cannot answer. They like to be involved and they have gotten used to my frequent quick exits,” said Chala.
Chala reflected on some of the most interesting times that he simply got up and left. “In one instance I was giving one of my children a haircut and there was a serious car accident that occurred right nearby our home. I dropped the scissors in a place where he could not get to them, called to my wife and told her that I was leaving and then I dashed out. My son waited for me for half-an-hour to finish the haircut. He was patient. He knows the drill already, that even though I may leave suddenly I always come back to finish whatever I was doing and give my family the attention they need. So leaving before Shabbat is certainly a challenging time, but it happens, sometimes even if the Shabbat table is not set. In order to save a life, the delay is certainly worth it. That is a lesson that I am happy that my family has learned with me.”