United Hatzalah of Israel’s Eli Beer has arrived in New York for business lunches and meetings. Little did he know that his tie was going to be way less useful than his rescue jacket.
Beer landed on Friday in the city, which was already abuzz from the news of the approaching superstorm, Sandy. He bought a few cans of water, stocked up on kosher sushi and hunkered down to wait out the storm. But as the storm became more and more powerful his EMT instinct kicked in.
“You can’t just sit there and do nothing,” says Beer. “Once the storm began and I saw the damage it caused on the streets, I knew I wouldn’t be able to idly stand by. Anyways, I couldn’t sleep, so when the wind calmed down a bit, I left for the NYU hospital – around 4.30 AM.”
“The worst of Sandy stomped through the city during Monday night, but its footprint is visible all over the city, especially in the coastal areas. Some places really turned into scenes from a disaster movie, many streets got flooded,” Beer explains. “The local EMTs recognized me as an Israeli – and knew that Israelis are everywhere and they are there to help. I am really proud of that,” said Beer. „It was definitely a special experience.
The evacuation efforts at the hospital were amazingly organized, it was impressive to see all those different ambulances responding so unanimously in the hour of need. As a Hatzalah medic I was very proud to see the Hatzalah New York ambulances working side by side with other EMS services – helping to save lives of so many people. It’s a true Kiddush Hashem. ”
Jonathan, a NYC paramedic reacted to the Israeli joining the rescue efforts: „They are like angels. They are constantly looking for where they can help, they have infinite patience and a very big heart. America loves you!”