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“I was scared and excited, but the moment there is an injured soldier, you don’t think about anything else” The ground maneuver in the Gaza Strip has led to many operational achievements. Sadly, with the achievements come the injuries of the combat soldier operating on the ground. As such, these soldiers are joined by the paramedics, among them is Academic Officer B’, from the IAF Medical Officer’s Headquarters, who is one of the women in the units entering the Gaza Strip

Naomi Tzoref

Two weeks have passed since the beginning of the ground maneuver phase of Operation “Protective Edge” and during the effort to reach critical targets of immense strategic importance, dozens of the ground force soldiers have been injured. Academic Officer B’, an operations officer at the Medical Officer’s Headquarters, was drafted as a paramedic for combat forces and has treated dozens of injured soldiers since the ground operation began. “At the beginning of the grand maneuver, I was dispatched to the reconnaissance unit of the ‘Givati’ Brigade. Our forces were the first to get injured in the fighting, as I went out I treated one of the first injured soldiers”, she says. “Everything was done under fire. At the moment, that soldier is hospitalized in light condition and might even be released”.

Sounds of Explosions

The night of the entrance into the Gaza Strip, Academic Officer B’, who holds a bachelors degree in emergency medicine and volunteers with MDA (Magen David Adom, Israel’s Red Cross) thought she had already seen it all.
“I was scared and excited, but the moment there is an injured soldier, you don’t think about anything else”, she describes. “During my studies, they prepared us for situations like these and it is always important that the patient be the center of your focus”. Her facial expression gives the impression that this demand is easy and logical, but she is describing the most stressful atmosphere: “the whole time mortar bombs were being fired on us, there are sounds of explosions and the troops keep fighting”.

One of the hardest moments she remembers is the moment she found out a soldier on whom she had performed CPR, died later in the hospital. “I saw his name in the newspaper and I broke down”, she recalls. “I have done a lot of CPRs but when it comes to soldiers, it’s different”. Despite the difficulty, the medical crews continue working in the Gaza Strip and assisting wounded forces. “My goal is to get the soldiers back home safe and sound-and that’s what I’m trying to do”.