Monday, December 6, 2010
Haifa police chief dies of wounds
First woman to head police station, Ahuva Tomer, succumbs to her wounds after four-day hospitalization. Tomer was gravely injured in Carmel forest fire, while driving behind bus full of Prison Service cadets that burned down
Haifa Police Chief Ahuva Tomer died of her wounds Monday, after four days of hospitalization at Rambam Hospital in the city.
Tomer was severely injured in the Carmel forest fire, and sustained burns throughout her body while driving behind the bus that burned down while carrying 40 Prison Service cadets.
She has been fighting for her life since, and doctors even reported a change for the better, but on Monday morning her condition became dire and she succumbed to her wounds.
"I am not accustomed to speaking of Ahuva in the past tense," her life partner told reporters. "I have been living with Ahuva for many years, but I live beside her. I think anyone who had any type of relationship with Ahuva knew how important her work was to her. It is precisely because it was so important to her that she ran first into the fire. Not everyone would do what she did."
Dr. Yaron Bar-El, the hospital's deputy director, said burns were some of the worst wounds known to medicine. "We fought for her life non-stop," he told reporters.
"I was impressed with her determination, despite her injuries, to fight as hard as she could to stay alive. But in spite of our efforts we were forced to give up."
Police Commissioner Dudi Cohen published a statement upon learning of Tomer's death. "Ahuva, our friend, decorated commander, brave and dear iron woman, who withstood the most difficult tests and embraced them, died a heroine. The family of Israel Police is shocked and hurting today," he said.
Tomer was the first woman to preside over a large police station. In the past year and a half, some 500 officers served underneath her.
Her appointment in March 2009 was the second time Tomer set a record for gender equality in Israel Police, after being appointed in 1997 to head the Nahariya police station.