Hugo Paluch was known to all for his huge heart, generosity, and care for others. In his honour, a few learners, together with Hatzolah, initiated the student-based empowerment program called “Hugo’s Heroes”. The idea was to create a first aid team in each Jewish day school to respond to emergencies in the school as and when they happen, while waiting for Hatzolah to arrive. Training covers:
- CPR and choking emergencies
- Heart attack
- Environmental emergencies
- Uncontrolled bleeding emergencies
- Bandaging and splinting
- Allergic reactions
- Diabetic-related emergencies
- Head injuries
- Chest injuries
These are just to name a few. Students will be equipped with the basic necessities to respond to these emergencies and will be constantly monitored and trained to ensure the highest levels of professionalism and expertise.
In addition to emergency response, ‘Hugo’s Heroes’ also incorporates health and safety awareness. The training was overseen by Dov Paluch, father of the late Hugo. The concept behind this is ‘prevention is better than cure. Our aim is to add more eyes, alert, aware and looking for potential dangers in order to prevent any injury and/or fatalities.
This has been a very exciting and rewarding project. It has been incredible to see the determination of the learners to be involved and get as much out of the course and training as possible.
It has been an honour, with Dov and Nicole’s permission, to name this project for Hugo – may his memory be a blessing.
Message From Hugo’s Parents
“We owe a great debt of gratitude to the team at Hatzolah that managed to give us an additional 11 days with our son Hugo. From every account we have heard, the chances of getting Hugo to the hospital alive were extremely slim. In fact, it started even before Hatzolah arrived. Hugo’s fellow learners that were first on the scene were pivotal in ensuring that Hugo was in the correct position to be worked on.
The school children were the ones on the field with Hugo. This programme is all about equipping these children with skills to deal with medical emergencies which arise.
The Torah in Devarim Perek 22 gives us the Mitzvah to build a fence for your roof, which is a positive commandment to make your property safe. This programme is the brainchild of a few high school children that wanted to do more to protect their school and the children in it.
It is an absolute honour for us that the founders of this programme decided to initiate it in the merit of Hugo and have called it “Hugo’s Heroes”. The programme has expanded to include not only first aid response but also an element of upfront preventative safety. This is obviously very close to our hearts as it can ensure that unnecessary accidents do not occur in our schools.
Hugo’s Heroes has the potential to change the way that safety and responsibility are approached at Jewish Schools. It actually has the potential to change the way that South Africans think about safety.
We are extremely humbled to be a part of Hugo’s Heroes.”