When Magen David Adom paramedics arrived at the scene of a car accident on Road 4 north of Ashdod Saturday night, they were surprised to find that somebody had beaten them to the punch.
“From afar, we saw flashing lights and thought police had arrived before us,” MDA paramedic Ravit Martinez told Yedioth Ahronoth. “But when we got closer, we saw that they weren’t police cars, but civilian security vehicles that had closed off the area safely.”
It turns out that IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz had been on the way home from dinner when he passed a car that had collided with the safety rail. He and his security attaché stopped to evacuate the driver from the car and began giving him medical assistance until paramedics arrived. Gantz was not in uniform.
“When we arrived they gave us the details of the crash and the first aid they’d administered to the injured man,” the paramedic said. “I tapped the shoulder of one of them, a tall, sturdy guy who was standing next to me, and asked him to help me lift the injured man onto the stretcher. He said ‘no problem at all’ and helped. I was focused on work and didn’t really pay attention to the person I was talking to. Only afterwards in the ambulance did I realize that the person who was helping me so much there was the chief of staff.”
The IDF said in a statement: “That is exactly what an officer is expected to do when he arrives at the scene of an accident. Even if he is not in uniform, it is on him to do all that he can to help.”
This isn’t the first time that Gantz has been in the news for Good Samaritan actions.
In December 2011, he was eating at a restaurant in Ra’anana when a woman had a stroke and fainted. He and his security detail administered first aid until paramedics arrived.
A year later, Gantz ordered his helicopter to turn around in order to evacuate a paratrooper who had been injured during a routine drill in the Jordan Valley.
This past July, Gantz, who was at sea in a navy vessel, changed course and then worked side-by-side with the IDF’s rescue unit to pull an F-16 pilot and navigator to safety after they ejected when their fighter jet malfunctioned off the Gaza coast.
“If the chief of staff finds the time, we’d be very happy to see him volunteer with us on a regular basis,” joked MDA spokesman Zehi Heller. “He certainly displayed resourceful and exemplary citizenship.”