United Hatzalah Responds to Stampede at Israeli Religious Festival

Dozens of people lost their lives and more than 150 people were hurt in a stampede at one of the most celebrated festivals of the year.
Dozens of people lost their lives and more than 150 people were hurt at one of the most celebrated festivals of the year. (Photo/United Hatzalah)

United Hatzalah (Israel) was part of the response team that responded to a mass-casualty incident started by a stampede on Friday.

It happened at a Jewish religious festival attended by tens of thousands of people in northern Israel. At least 40 people were killed and 150 were hospitalized.

“I was on duty when I saw dozens of people fall on top of one another during the collapse,” said EMT Yehuda Gottleib. “A large number of them were crushed and lost consciousness. I immediately requested backup from the on-site dispatchers and told them to send as many additional volunteers and medical personnel as they could to the scene and that we had dozens of injuries.”

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CEO of United Hatzalah Eli Pollack, who ran the on-site dispatch center during the incident said: “Dozens of our volunteers performed CPR on the victims who were crushed, while others treated more than 100 people who were injured with varying degrees of severity.”

United Hatzalah’s Psychotrauma and Crisis Response Team treated dozens of people who suffered emotional stress from the incident and treated several people for shock, according to Vice President of Operations Dov Maisel.

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