The Magen David Adom (MDA) paramedic team that treated the victims of the deadly terror attack in Har Adar, on Monday met Amit Steinhart, whose life they saved after he was severely wounded in the attack.
Last September, an Arab from a neighboring village who was employed in Har Adar arrived at the entrance to the upscale Jerusalem suburban community, removed a hidden firearm from his clothing and murdered Border Policeman Staff Segeant Solomon Gavria, security personnel Yosef Otman and Or Arish, and severely wounded Amit Steinhart.
Senior MDA EMT Omri Cohen was the first MDA staffer on the scene and provided preliminary medical treatment to Amit. Recalling the shocking moments, he said: “When I arrived I conducted a situation assessment for the three injured individuals who were on the ground. When I realized they were showing no signs of life, I approached Amit. He was suffering from bullet wounds to his upper body, so MDA First Responders, Aviv Sever and Reuven Tzioni joined me and provided him with lifesaving medical treatment. Within minutes, the MDA Mobile Intensive Care Unit, headed by Paramedic Zohar Lomer, arrived on the scene. Lomer continued the treatment and evacuated him to the hospital.”
After the attack, Cohen continued to check up on Amir, which made the reunion that much more moving. “This incident is forever engraved in my heart” says Cohen, “it was a far from easy situation and seeing him today gives me closure. His standing up and thanking us makes me tremble.”
MDA First Responder, Aviv Sever, a resident of Har Adar, was one of the first to treat Amir: “As a resident of the area and an MDA EMT, I have become accustomed to arriving at emergencies with Amir as a Civilian Security Coordinator, It wasn’t easy to see him cut down, injured, but in these moments you know you must detach yourself from emotions and concentrate on medical treatment.”
MDA Paramedic, Zohar, Lomer, who was injured in a terror attack in 2014, recounted his feelings: “It is very moving to see you here. I remember the time of the attack, how we transferred you onto the Mobile Intensive Care Unit, You were calm and controlled, which is very important in case of injury. We, as a medical team, assisted with everything we could treatment-wise."
"I am familiar with the situation, I lived through it. I was grocery shopping one day in the supermarket when a terrorist attacked me from behind with an axe. Throughout the incident, you acted as you are used to behaving as part of your role as security coordinator. These moments should be put into their rightful place. Do not forget, but continue living your life. It took me a year and a half to recover, it was a struggle that required a lot of will power, but here I am today.”
Amit Steinhart thanked the team: “I was in critical condition, I was hit with several bullets. In those moments, I was certain I was going to die. I called my wife, Naama, and simply said goodbye to her. I bled so much that I couldn’t help myself, I lost all energy and thought ‘I am going to die here’.
"Suddenly, the angels in white, with the Shields of David on their chests arrived, they gave me the power to fight and not give up, suddenly I thought ‘okay, I have a chance, I am not going to die here and now’ - they began speaking to me and checking me and it gave me a whole new feeling. I went from accepting death to receiving hope upon hearing them say ‘we are doing everything in our power to save you, stay with us, stay conscious don’t close your eyes.’” I have no way of saying it really, “thank you” isn’t enough to explain what I feel in my heart. This is your routine, you are amazing, you save lives, thank you for everything.”
Manager of the MDA Jerusalem Region, Shlomo Petrover, told Amit: “We, at MDA, are working on shortening our response times. Arriving at a scene to treat a patient in a condition like yours, or any other medical emergency, we know the first minutes are crucial. We enlist the general public to act as ‘Life Guardians’ and in that vein, I grant you the First Aid kit of an MDA Life Guardian, with which you can save lives.”
At the end of the reunion, Amit announced to the people of MDA that when he recovers fully he plans on joining Magen David Adom as an EMT and Ambulance Driver.