As part of Magen David Adom’s ongoing efforts to shorten response and the arrival times of its teams, the emergency medicine technicians (EMTs) and paramedics arrive on scene to events using various means of transportation, starting from the well-known ambulances and mobile intensive care units, through helicopters, electric bicycles and the Mini-Electrical Response Vehicle “MERV”, that can reach even areas that are hardly accessible. MDA’s medicycle fleet includes over 550 motorcycles that reach emergencies throughout Israel, carrying a kit with complete lifesaving equipment found in an ambulance: a defibrillator, a respirator, dressings, epinephrine injection for the treatment of life-threatening allergy attack and more. Among these medicycles are heavy-duty intercity motorcycles and intensive-care motorcycles operated by paramedics and equipped with intensive care equipment such as an advanced defibrillator and a variety of medications. Arrival on the medicycles is easier and faster and in cases such as traffic accidents, the First Responders can take advantage of their excellent maneuverability and save valuable time.
You probably have already seen MDA’s First Responder medicycles riding along Israel’s roads, rushing to provide medical response in scenes of emergency events, but have you ever met MDA’s lady-motorcyclists? Now, in the ranks of MDA’s First Responders medicycle unit, there are six Wonder-Women volunteers all ‘crazy’ about their work and consider their mission of saving lives as their most significant goal.
Orit Gorgov (32), an MDA First Responder, she’s a volunteer in Hayarkon Region. Her profession is actually an alternative medicine therapist, and she lives in Rosh Ha’ain. Between therapy sessions, she finds the time to rush out and help save lives, riding on the MDA medicycle given to her. “I have always loved motorcycles, and always rode them. Three years ago, I received the MDA medicycle and since then, I have been riding it in response to every call. I remember dozens of emergency calls in which I took part, and I’m proud and happy to assist and help those who need it.” As an ambulance driver, Orit can explain the huge difference between the two vehicles. “The medicycle gives me the ability to arrive quicker and work more effectively, particularly in complicated road scenes, where it is necessary to bypass a large traffic jams”, she says.
Sharon Greene (47), a Mother of three who resides in Hofit, is a volunteer emergency medicine technician riding an MDA emergency motorbike and an ambulance driver at MDA’s Sharon region. “Until a year ago, I worked in product design at a company dealing with products for children and infants. I used to ride motorcycles and enjoyed that. Now, many years later, I am happy to ride an MDA medicycle again. I remember well the first call to which I was dispatched as an emergency motorcyclist First Responder. That event involved two persons who drowned in the sea, near the Beit Yanai Beach. I arrived there at record time, to help them, managed to provide lifesaving treatment and both of them were saved,” said Sharon in excitement. “Another event that I will not forget was when I rode the medicycle to treat a two-year old girl, who choked on a foreign object. I was able to extract the foreign object from her trachea and the girl started breathing again. I am proud and happy to help the community and it gives me satisfaction. For me, being able to ride a motorcycle again and save lives, at the same time, that is a winning combination.”
Lita Berson (29), a First Responder motorcyclist at MDA’s Carmel region: “Previously, I wanted to study veterinary medicine and started working in a veterinary clinic. Out of the desire to help save lives, I decided to attend an Emergency Medicine Technicians Course and afterwards I began working at MDA’s Blood Bank. Being an MDA volunteer is my positive addiction and great passion. The motorcycle is a challenge. Riding a motorcycle also involves an element of risk, yet I know that thanks to the motorcycle I can do my best to save lives. I arrive quicker to where I have to treat the sick and wounded. Since I received the medicycle and began riding it, I realized the difference in the field, in terms of the motorcycles’ availability and reach. I live in Kiryat Ata, and my arrival on the scene of calls is very quick and efficient, especially during rush hours.”
Louise Rabinowitz (51), a motorcyclist at MDA’s Lachish region First Responders Medicycle Unit, has been in MDA for more than 11 years, during which she completed the Senior Emergency Medicine Technicians course. She has a motorcycle license for 12 years. Thanks to her long years of experience in motorcycle riding and her extensive knowledge in saving lives, it was only natural to give her an MDA medicycle carrying an assortment of life-saving equipment. Louise says she started volunteering at MDA following a serious traffic accident she witnessed about 13 years ago. “I was present there, but didn’t know what to do. I wasn’t able to help. I promised myself that it would never happen again.” Louise decided to rise up to the challenge. She joined the Magen David Adom organization, and now, she is the only woman among the motorcyclists in Ashdod, who arrives on event scenes riding her MDA medicycle.
Asala Abud (25) from Gush Halav, who only recently received her first aid MDA medicycle: “I’m excited to receive the 500th MDA medicycle, with which I can quickly reach the sick and wounded and save lives. I have just completed MDA’s special professional training in motorcycle riding, where we got tips for proper and safe riding. We practiced operational riding in the field, which included braking, maneuvers and safety measures. As an architect by profession and MDA volunteer, I travel around in the north region and I am confident that the medicycle will allow me to reach the patients and wounded quickly and give them initial response in order to save their lives. ”
Stephanie Glick (50) a resident of Kfar Tavor, married and the mother of a young girl, is a lecturer in the field of educational technology at Shanan College. For about 3 years she has been volunteering on MDA’s ambulances and mobile intensive care units. “Recently, I renewed my motorcyclist’s license and two weeks ago I joined MDA’s First Responder Medicycle Unit at the Gilboa region in the Kfar Tavor area. It gives me immense satisfaction to help sick and injured people in their difficult moments, knowing I have a vehicle that allows me to arrive quickly on event scenes and save lives.”
Director of MDA’s Medicycle Unit, Paramedic Hilik Moyal: “The medicycle unit volunteers at Magen David Adom are professional riders who, amongst other things, also ride intensive care medicycles and heavy duty intercity motorcycles. All of MDA’s motorcyclists undergo special training for proper and safe riding, wearing a safety helmet and all the best means of protection required. The six Wonder-Women motorcyclists who volunteer in the ranks of MDA’s Medicycle Unit make a great contribution in improving MDA’s times of arrival and have already saved the lives of many people.”
MDA Director General, Mr. Eli Bin: “MDA, as Israel’s national rescue organization, is working tirelessly to improve the times of arrival to events and to provide quick and professional medical care on the field in real time. To this end, we operate across Israel, approximately 550 medicycles, including intensive care motorcycles, in addition to ambulances and mobile intensive care units. Parts of the leading force of the Medicycle Unit are women who are dispatched day and night, in the summer and in the winter, and sometimes while busy with their children or family. Knowing that there is someone out there in need of their help, they leave everything behind and rush out to save lives. They are professionals, both in terms of medical treatment and in terms of operational riding, and are the first to reach the scene of events. I thank the dedicated volunteers of our Medicycle Unit, for their work on our life-saving mission in the State of Israel.”