When an emergency occurs, the first crucial moments, known as the Golden Minutes, often make the difference between life and death and preserving quality of life for survivors. Being there in time, and knowing what to do, is what Hatzolah Darom is all about.


Ashdod miracle. When a 7-year old girl was found blue in the face after choking on the playground slide rope, her friends’ screams attracted a nearby Hatzolah Darom volunteer, who leaving his shop unattended, rushed to the scene. He administered life-saving treatment to the unconscious girl until MDA paramedics arrived. She remained in a coma in the hospital for 3 days, then suddenly woke up, to everyone’s joy and relief.


Rescuing the elderly. At the scene of a major apartment fire in the Nachal Sorek Settlements, Hatzolah volunteers found an elderly man, whose heart condition had become life-threatening. Their immediate first aid treatment, including timely use of a defibrillator, was crucial in saving his life.


Yeshiva boys and a Sefer Torah. Automobile accidents are all-too common on the high-speed highways. When Yeshiva bachurim, traveling home with a Sefer Torah from camp in Bnei Re’em, were involved in an accident, Hatzolah Darom volunteers sped to the scene in minutes and treated the injured boys until MDA paramedics evacuated them to the hospital. Volunteer Yossi Weisenstern, reverently returned the precious Scroll to its rightful place.


Ysodot school bus overturned. The crisis brought immediate response from nearby volunteers who calmed the frightened children and administered first aid to the wounded ones. Thankfully, there were no fatalities.


Major fire engulfs 27 children in Kiryat Malachi. The site of a playgroup fire was the scene of intense cooperation between Hatzolah Darom volunteers, firefighters and policemen. Children were treated for smoke inhalation and slight injuries until they could be evacuated to the hospital.

Crucial blood shortage addressed. Hatzolah Darom, responding to wartime blood shortages, organized a project in which hundreds came to donate blood. This was so successful, it has since been repeated on several occasions.


Kassem rocket hits Talmud Torah yard. Fortunately, it was during a learning session, but the children were traumatized. Volunteers helped calm the youngsters and get them safely home.

Horrific truck collision at Ashkelon intersection. Industrial-sized truck collided with a car, critically injuring the driver. Timely intervention by volunteers from Hatzolah Darom saved his life, with these volunteers being commended later for their skillful and immediate response.


Stress-induced heart attacks rise in wake of Sderot rocket attacks. Living in fear of rockets directed from Gaza causes sharp increase in rate of heart attacks for residents of Sderot and other communities. Timely use of defibrillators by Hatzolah Darom volunteers reduces mortality and permanent disability rates.


Gaza rocket hits car, critically wounds 2 teens. The prompt arrival of Hatzolah Darom volunteers and their skilled first aid made the critical difference until the arrival of an MDA ambulance and their subsequent transfer to the hospital.

Unfortunately there are so many more. Your help is crucial.

Crucial Moments


Hatzolah Darom endeavors to save lives and ease pain, by training and equipping volunteers to respond to the emergency needs of the residents of Southern Israel.

Rabbi Michael SchwartzExecutive Director
Hatzolah Darom



“Hatzolah Darom operates behind the scenes, far from the spotlight, yet with unconditional professionalism and devotion … your organization is deserving of much indebtedness and respect.”
Tzvi Tzilker, Mayor of Ashdod

“There is no doubt that the combined efforts of MDA and Hatzolah volunteers have significantly improved the services available to those in need, thanks to the ability to offer initial medical treatment in the shortest amount of time possible.”
Dror Richter
Director, MDA Lachish Region