Thousands of Israeli travelers, if not more, owe him their lives and health – but yesterday (Tuesday) participated Peretz Giladi, 72, from the settlement of Kahal at the entrances to Mount Hermon, in the last rescue From which he did not return. Giladi, who came to Nahal Amud to help the family – who eventually did not need help – fell from a great height and was killed. This afternoon he was laid to rest in his hometown, overlooking the Golan he loved so much, and the Sea of Galilee. Hundreds accompanied the deceased as the No. 1 volunteer in the north.
Giladi was one of the founders of the Golan Rescue Unit, more than 40 years ago, at a time when it had not yet received police sponsorship. As an inspector of the Nature and Parks Authority, he knew every corner of the Golan and the Galilee, and after retiring he became a volunteer of the authority. He also volunteered for the first aid organization Ihud Hatzalah, and in the last three years he would come to the emergency room at Ziv Medical Center in Safed, to assist doctors and nurses in whatever was needed. His death was determined.
A message from his friends from the rescue unit read: “Like the stones, plants and animals in nature that you loved and respected so much, you were also part of the Galilee landscape. It is no coincidence that you left us while you were on your way to save a distressed family in Nahal Amud.
In the Nature and Parks Authority, Giladi served as an inspector of toxins and pesticides for many years, and later as a regional inspector. When he reached retirement age, he insisted on continuing to work, and twice was granted an extension. He also insisted on continuing to serve in the rescue unit, and even reached out to the Homeland Security Minister to allow him to continue volunteering. Even at the age of 72, Giladi continued and insisted on continuing to work in the variety of volunteer units.
Guy Ayalon, director of the Northern District of the Nature and Parks Authority, said at Giladi’s funeral: “Throughout the years, two things have always been in front of your eyes – nature conservation and saving lives. “Or a wounded animal. For nature conservation you also traveled as far as Tasmania, and for saving human lives you traveled as far as Haiti. We would thirstily swallow the fascinating stories of your experiences in these places.”
“A few years ago, I remember one small, special moment of both of us – in a fire in Nahal El Al,” he added. “Surrounded by flames, two people, shoulder to shoulder in front of the orange fire, fight together. But even when everything was black and burning, you did not miss an opportunity to wade in the pure water of the stream, to absorb from them more strength to continue fighting the fire.”
“Even yesterday, without any hesitation, you went out to help a family in distress in Nahal Amud,” Ayalon said. “Another routine call, and you’re the first to volunteer. What exactly happened, what overwhelmed you, right there, we will probably never know. Peretz, dear friend, it is very difficult for me to know that we will not meet again.”
Sharon Levy, director of the Golan Heights in the Nature and Parks Authority, said that in his last position in the authority, Giladi was an inspector in a Jewish forest. “In fact, he did not leave us, and continued to volunteer in everything related to the field. In the Golan Rescue Unit, the Nature and Parks Authority on every mission, monitoring hunting, poisoning and animal tracking. He was a man of people and nature conservation. He served as a medic, and was saving lives. Always in the forefront of his mind. ”
Aviad Gadsi from Moshav Avnei Eitan in the Golan Heights heads the branch of the Ihud Hatzalah Rescue Association, and replaced Giladi when he retired. “We brought him a new bag as a gift (a first aid kit from the Rescue Union volunteers) and I expressed regret that he was leaving us, but he was really offended, and insisted that he stay in the Golan and only in the Golan. Just three weeks ago, he completed a medic course in the organization’s ambulance – and that’s at age 72, yes? ”
“For his 70th birthday he climbed the Climanjero,” Gadsy added. “I wish we were all 50 in the fit he was at 72. He asked me to arrange for him to meet with the deputy district police chief to allow him to continue volunteering in the rescue unit, despite his age,” he said.
In recent years, Giladi has also been a beekeeper, and active in the new guard in the field of hive maintenance. The members of the Rescue Union said that for Rosh Hashanah last year, Giladi distributed to each of the volunteers a kilo of honey from the beehives he owned. He came to the rescue of the family by virtue of being a volunteer of the Nature and Parks Authority, and those who came to him after he fell from a height were members of the Galil-Carmel unit – all his acquaintances and friends.
In an article on the Golan Rescue Unit, written by Giladi himself in the Teva HaDvarim magazine in 2013, he described the unit on its various extensions and capabilities – rescue from height and water, locating missing persons and more – and concluded: We do in the most beautiful part of the country in our country (to my taste of course) .Overall we strive to be good people in the middle of the road. None of us is a Rambo or a person with extraordinary abilities.
“We will continue to reach wherever we can help, and we will try to renew and be even better. This is how we will keep what is said in Tractate Avot – ‘Where there are no people try to be a man’ (Chapter 2, Mishnah 6). Only please travelers – travel carefully and according to procedures. Remember – the end of an act in thought first. “