Swords Of Iron

290th day of fighting

Michelle Rashkovsky, a paramedic at the Lod MDA station

Michelle Rashkovsky, a paramedic at the Lod MDA station, saved a Ramle resident who was seriously injured by a missile strike, moments before a gas explosion.

“On Saturday, October 7th, just after an ordinary, busy night shift on an ALS ambulance, when my team and I were right near Ramle, I started to hear air raid sirens. Apparently sirens were going off all across the center of Israel. We immediately stopped at the side of the road, put on our bulletproof vests and helmets, and laid down on the ground. Suddenly we heard a huge blast, and black smoke started rising up from Ramle.

As soon as the siren ended, we got back in the ambulance and I called the MDA dispatch center to report a rocket strike in Ramle. The dispatcher asked for the address, but I myself didn’t know where it had fallen so we just raced towards the smoke. We didn’t know yet what we were about to face, but my gut told me something serious was going on.

We reached at a neighborhood of private homes. All the residents were standing outside with terrified looks. I could see an overturned car, with heavy smoke coming out of it. There was fire and screaming, and scared residents led me to a house, a few meters away from where the missile had fallen.

I saw a man in his 40s, of Arab origin, laying on the ground fully conscious, severely wounded, particularly in his lower limbs.
I was handling the call with the dispatch center trying to describe the severity of the scene, while treating the wounded person and managing my team.

All of a sudden, I noticed a smell of gas. I checked the fire zone once more from a different angle, and saw that the fire was approaching two big gas tanks, threatening to explode at any second. I decided in an instant to evacuate the scene along with the patient as quickly as possible. In a matter of a few moments we had the patient transferred onto the stretcher and into the ambulance, rescuing several other family members at the same time, and we rapidly left the scene.
On our way to Shamir – Assaf HaRofe Hospital we provided life-saving medical care to the patient who was in serious and unstable condition.

Thankfully, the event turned out well. The patient survived and was discharged from the hospital a few weeks later, and my team and I got out of the fire zone unharmed. The injured man was fortunate to have had us so close by at that critical, explosive moment, and I am grateful we were able to provide such a rapid response and save his life.

This was a very difficult incident. It was meaningful, challenging, demanding quick decision making and action and I am happy we were able to act in the best way possible.”


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