One of the things that is close to Elie's heart is his on-going service with the local ambulance squad. I saw him last night - I wanted to write about that, and I will, but first a short post about something else. Elie went to physical therapy again this week, teaching him to strengthen his knees. They spend hours on their legs, hours running to remain fit, and it takes a toll.
So Elie got a referral to a doctor who confirmed that Elie was fine, but just needed a bit of exercises to help ease any discomfort. After the appointment, he took a military bus back to his base. Suddenly, the bus driver slammed on the brake and jerked the entire bus to the side. I was afraid for the soldiers on the bus, but Elie immediately told me that no one was hurt.
"Why did he do that?" I asked Elie. The answer was to avoid killing the motorcycle driver who had clipped the side of a truck and gone skidding in the road. As soon as the bus driver stopped, Elie and a few others jumped off the bus and ran to the fallen cyclist.
"Try to get up. Are you okay?" one soldier said to the man laying on the ground.
"No," Elie said quickly, already putting on gloves that he keeps with him always. "Don't move."
"Try to get up," the eager soldier who wanted to help said again.
"You, shut up," Elie said with less patience. "And you don't move."
He took out his phone, called an ambulance and said, "I'm a medic from Jerusalem. Get an ambulance here NOW." Then he handed his phone to a soldier and said, "tell him where we are."
The man was lightly injured. His safety gear saving him from the bulk of the crash. Scrapes and bumps and hopefully a lesson learned.
That isn't always the case. All too often, the damage is more severe, the victims injured more seriously. A call goes out and medics come and they help their victims. The beauty of this post by the Muqata shows how saving the victims is a universal goal: