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Park volunteer dies in fall while rescuing family of hikers who ran out of water

Peretz Giladi, 72, trips when helping family in Amud Stream Nature Reserve; Giladi had obtained ministerial permission to continue volunteering for rescue unit despite his age

Peretz Giladi, who died while rescuing a family of hikers in Nahal Amud, onSeptemebt 22, 2021. (Courtesy of family via Nature and Parks Authority)
Peretz Giladi, who died while rescuing a family of hikers in Nahal Amud, onSeptemebt 22, 2021. (Courtesy of family via Nature and Parks Authority)

A volunteer in the rescue unit of the Israel Nature and Parks Authority died on Tuesday when he tripped and fell while helping to rescue hikers in northern Israel.

Peretz Giladi, 72, was a member of the team called out to help a family struggling during a hike in the Amud Stream Nature Reserve due to their insufficient supplies of drinking water.

Giladi stumbled and fell during the rescue effort, and was taken to the Ziv Medical Center in Safed where doctors pronounced his death.

Giladi was a veteran volunteer in the parks and was a founder of a rescue unit in the Golan Heights. Previously, he worked as an inspector in the nature reserves and was involved in a number of conservation projects.

Sharon Levy, director of the Golan Heights region in the parks authority told Channel 12 news that Giladi had been told that he would need to stop volunteering in the rescue unit after his 70th birthday, but he had taken the matter to a ministerial level in order to be permitted to continue.

“Peretz was a regional inspector for many years in the southern Golan and later as a forest inspector, from where he retired. But he did not leave us and continued to volunteer in everything related to the field — in the Golan Rescue Unit, a [nature] tagging program, hunting inspection, and poisoning and animal tracking,” Levy said.

“When he reached the age of 70, he was informed that he could not continue volunteering in the rescue unit. He did not give up and took the matter up to the level of the internal security minister to allow him to continue. He was in excellent shape. His life ended doing something he loved to do,” said Levy.

Israelis hike along the Amud Stream in northern Israel, on August 25, 2014. (Yaakov Naumi/Flash90)

The Nature and Parks Authority said in a statement that Giladi was “exceptional,” and that they would open an investigation into the circumstances surrounding his death.

“We are shocked by the death of the Nature and Parks Authority retiree and volunteer from the Galilee Rescue Unit, Peretz Giladi, an exceptional man, who went out to help rescue a family who apparently suffered from dehydration in Nahal Amud, and during the rescue, tripped and fell to his death,” the authority said.

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