Magen David Adom EMT Balkees Abu Awad, 23, from Buq’ata, a Druze town in the northern section of the Israeli Golan Heights, on Wednesday received her first-responder’s Medi-cycle which will enable her to provide immediate medical care to the communities in her area.
“In my community, they have a difficult time with the fact that a woman would ride a motorcycle or drive an ambulance, and treat patients at all hours of the day,” Abu Awad said. “I feel that beyond my personal drive to treat patients and save lives, I have an additional mission of not only driving the ambulance, but also of being a first responder and riding the Medi-cycle.”
“I am proud and honored to be the first female Druze first responder on a Medi-cycle. It is my hope that more women from the Druze community will join the organization, and I am sure I will not be the only one to be a first responder and ride a Medi-cycle,” she said.
Abu Awad began volunteering with MDA as a Youth Volunteer at the age of 16. Today, she volunteers as an EMT and driver in the Golan. She also volunteers with United Hatzalah.
In a ceremony attended by Buq’ata Mayor Abbas Abu Awad, Yarden Regional Supervisor Oren Avitan, and Yarden First Responders Unit Supervisor Dudu Berger, Balkees’ Medi-cycle was unveiled.
Buq’ata Mayor Abbas Abu Awad said: “I was honored to attend the ceremony and extend my best wishes to the first female Druze Medi-cycle first responder in Israel, who as part of Magen David Adom will undoubtedly save many lives. In our community of Buq’ata we have many MDA volunteers, and I am proud of our cooperation with MDA and the care provided in our area. It is said, ‘He who saves one life, is thought to have saved an entire world.'”
Yarden First Responders Unit Coordinator Dudu Berger said: “The ceremony in Buq’ata was very exciting. Reducing response times is something that MDA continuously strives for and is possible by our volunteers who give of their time and are saving lives around the clock.”
Yarden Regional Director Oren Avitan said: “Balkees is breaking new ground for MDA as the first female Druze Medi-cycle first responder and is motivated to save lives day and night. She will provide care in communities around Golan such as Massade, Ein Kannya, and Majdal Shams and significantly shorten response times.”
MDA Director General Eli Bin said: “Balkees Abu Awad is one of many women paving the way in Magen David Adom. Her motivation to save lives began at a young age and is worthy of the highest praise. We wish her all the best on joining MDA’s Medi-cycles Unit.”