Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Change of Venue

Got a phone call yesterday from the Magen David Adom district dispatcher -- concerning the annual 2 day Emergency Responder/EMT and Ambulance Driver refresher course I'm registered for this coming Sunday and Monday.

"The venue has been changed from Jerusalem, we just wanted to make sure that's ok with you", the caller said.

"OK, where has it been changed to?"

"Ashkelon," the MDA representative told me, "and make sure to bring your ambulance driver's license, as you're all going to be on-call..."

With the sudden increase of rocket attacks from Gaza towards Sederot and Ashkelon, what better way for MDA to prepare, than to move the entire course of over 100 EMTs to Ashkelon?

"Is the convention center in Ashkelon rocket proof?" I asked.

The MDA person had no idea...

Replaying this conversation to my wife, she admonished me. "What a question! You drive everywhere, don't drive a bullet proof car, go all over the country...volunteer up north during the 2cnd Lebanon war, visited non-rocket-proof homes in Gush Katif, and now for MDA, you're suddenly asking if the convention center is rocket proof?!"

She's 100% correct...and I don't know why I asked. Perhaps the media is doing such a fine job of describing how bad it is there, that it subconsciously sinks in.

Rocket proof or not, I'll be there on Sunday. Let's hope its quiet.

Wherever I am, my blog turns towards Eretz Yisrael טובה הארץ מאד מאד


Unknown said...

We"ll all be rooting for you, as well as praying for your safety along with all the others in that area. So, why does it always seem less dangerous other places, it's because if you're familiar with your surroundings you feel more secure.

Jameel @ The Muqata said...

Hi Risa. I guess its rather selfish of me in the first place. These poor people live in Ashkelon and Sederot and got bombed all the time.

I was never really worried about going to Gush Katif, Hevron, Kever Yosef or even when I volunteered up north. (And in all of the above places, I was shot at, or had rockets falling nearby).

My bad.

Jack Steiner said...

Wear the waffle iron as a helmet.

Lion of Zion said...

why don't you drive a bullet proof car?

A Soldier's Mother said...

So first - be safe.

Second, when my daughter told me she was going to volunteer in Safed during the Lebanon War (#2), I was really nervous...it was an amazing period - probably one of the few times during the war - from the Sun. afternoon when she arrived till the Wed. afternoon when she came back - not a single rocket landed in Safed! Other places yes, but not there. Be safe - it's a wonderful thing that you are doing and it's very important both to do the training and to do the training in the south.


Baila said...

Thank you!

nmf #7 said...

Wow- that's really wonderful that you're heading out there- kudos!

mnuez said...

I'm a fan.

Batya said...

I can relate to our question, even though some people think my neighborhood is dangerous. Yesterday I attended a tour in Shiloh, and some of the participants asked me of the "safety" and almost fainted when I mentioned that we don't have a fence.
I'd "gulp" before going to Ashkelon, but as my mother says, more people die from accidents at home, like falling in the bathtub.

Anonymous said...

Just be careful when you drive through the mrecaz not to get caught in a mob hit.

Jameel @ The Muqata said...

Jack: A Gaza Waffle House might calm them down.

LoZ: Why don't I drive a bullet proof car? Are you serious? Do have any clue how much they cost? Maybe in America the streets are paved with gold...here, it just flows with milk and honey (with an occasional Qassam rocket)

Paula: Thanks. Volunteering during the war up North was extremely satisfying (even though there were rockets falling all the time...I posted about it here (with pictures of the MDA station in Tzefat almost getting hit).

Baila: You're Welcome! (just remember to vote ;-)

nmf #7: and you keep Jerusalem safe for the rest of us!

mnuez: thanks.

Batya: At first, I thought it was like the "everyone knows their own arabs" statement, in that people in the shomron know their dangers but the unknown of somewhere else is scary...

Yet I drive everywhere and I never ask questions like that. Whatever, I'm sure it will be fine.

Ironi: LOL - I'll make sure to coordinate with the Alperone family before going anywhere near the Merkaz.

Lion of Zion said...

ok, not a bullet-proof car, but what about shatter proof windows?

Batya said...

lion, protected windows don't help

Jameel, I gues that if you drive all over the country the roads are more dangerous from the Israeli driving culture, or lack of it, than terrorism and kassams.

Jameel @ The Muqata said...

LoZ: Rock-proof windows I have.

Batya: Yeah :-/

Tzipporah said...

I'm just shocked that we never hear about the rockets in the regular press here in the States. I guess it's just considered "normal" for Israelis to have to live in a war zone...

Benji Lovitt said...

Wow, kol hakavod to you!

Lion of Zion said...


i don't know where this stereotype of bad israeli drivers started, but it isn't true. at least not compared to what i am used to in new york. i've found driving to be in israel very pleasant (the drivers that is, as the roads are another story).

Batya said...

lion, As far as I know, the accident rate here is higher. That's especially in YESHA, since the Arab drivers target Jews in terror accidents. It may be hard to prove to the police and insurance, but it's well known among the natives.
Also, most Israelis can't afford heavy cars which provide the most protection.

Rach said...

I'm glad that for your hishtalmut they're sending you down to Ashkelon. I always wanted to go down and help - I was never allowed. Hopefully the next time.

They may very well do your course in a miklat, I don't know for sure - once the sirens go off, most likely you'll be dispatched out, no? That's what happened to my drivers when they were down there.


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