Child in life-threatening situation stuck in standstill: EMTs plead with protesters not to block ambulances

Ten-year-old boy with severe allergic reacton stuck en route to hospital as anti-judicial reform protests cause major delays across the country.

By David Rosenberg, World Israel News

The Magen David Adom (MDA) emergency response organization called on anti-judicial reform protesters to ensure that ambulances are able to move freely throughout the country, as road-blocking demonstrations snarl traffic across Israel Tuesday.

Opponents of the government’s judicial overhaul plan launched a “Day of Resistance” Tuesday, after the Knesset passed the first reading of a bill limiting the ability of the judiciary to strike down government decisions and appointments on the grounds of the reasonability clause.

Demonstrators began gathering at 9:00 a.m. Tuesday, blocking central highways, thoroughfares and junctions throughout the country.

“The struggle against the regime coup is escalating. Everyone is coming out to the streets to fight for democracy,” the Brothers in Arms protest group said in a statement.

The road-blocking protests resulted in longer response times for ambulances, MDA said Tuesday, along with major delays for ambulances carrying patients to the hospital.

In one instance, a 10-year-old boy who was being evacuated to the hospital following a severe allergic reaction Tuesday morning was stuck for some 50 minutes at a road-blocking protest which left the ambulance carrying him unable to move.

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MDA spokesperson Zaki Heller urged protesters to allow ambulances to pass through without delay.

“Since the early hours of the morning, Magen David Adom has been gearing up for the protests, and MDA volunteers have been called up to reinforce mobile intensive care ambulance teams, motorcycle units, and other MDA vehicle teams.”

“Despite this, there have been significant delays for ambulances on their way to emergency situations and at major traffic arteries leading to hospitals. Magen David Adom is urging that ambulances be allowed freedom of movement during emergency trips.”

The United Hatzalah emergency responder organization also reported delays in response times due to the protests.

“Saving lives takes precedence above all else, and every minute is crucial,” said Eli Beer, President and Founder of United Hatzalah.

“Our volunteers are spread throughout the country and provide medical assistance to anyone in need, irrespective of their race, religion, or gender. Jewish, Arab, religious, and secular volunteers are united in the shared objective of preserving human lives. Recognizing that there are lengthier than usual ambulance response times and the potential risks to human life, we have instructed our volunteers to increase their responsiveness and be available to provide immediate treatment as needed.”