Swords Of Iron

290th day of fighting

The heroism of Yossi Perkovich

Meet Yossi Perkovich, a shift manager in Magen David Adom's First Responders' Dispatch.

e lives in Bnei Brak and is married with twins. His skills for multitasking and rapid assessment of information, as well as his ability to work under pressure, have been vital throughout the war, and especially so on October 7.

“I was staying with family in the Jewish Quarter in the Old City of Jerusalem on October 7,” shared Yossi. “I quickly realized that this was an emergency situation and headed in to help. I was at the National Dispatch Center within about an hour of the start of the attack, and saw that there were hundreds of calls on the system. This means that there were hundreds of casualties pleading for help. I started providing life-saving advice over the phone. I was instructing people how to stop bleeds and how to treat those injured both in the south and in particular at the Nova music festival. I helped wherever I could.”

Yossi Perkovich, shift manager in MDA First Responders
Yossi Perkovich, shift manager in MDA First Responders’ Dispatch
However, his work in dispatch was not enough for Yossi. He wanted to head to the front lines and ‘get his hands on a casualty’ as we say in MDA. During the first week he travelled to Ashkelon to help the teams on the front lines. “I ran from one call to the next for many hours, while still under massive rocket barrages in the city. I treated trauma cases, as well as routine and anxiety calls. One of the calls that I remember clearly was to an elderly woman who was knocked unconscious by a rocket that landed nearby and blew out her window. She was left with a critical head injury, and I was the first to reach and treat her. The fact that all she was doing was trying to seek shelter but was still injured, stays with me.”

Anyone who is active in Magen David Adom knows how important it is to have a strong support system. Yossi talks about two such systems: “My wife is an MDA EMT, so she understands the dangers. She gives me the strength to continue with what I do, although she worries sometimes. We are both dedicated to saving lives and understand what is required.”

Yossi’s second support system comes from his MDA friends and colleagues. “My friends in MDA in general, and those in dispatch in particular, are like family to me. We’re all together, whatever happens, helping each other just like siblings. It’s how I know that if, heaven forbid, the war expands, I’ll be joining my colleagues in being the first to help. The knowledge that I’ve helped someone, that I’ve saved a life, is what gives me the strength to keep going. It is the essence of everything we do.”

 

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