Israel Seen Exclusive – Saving Lives Together to Build Our Communities
Last Thursday night an emergency alert went out on the radio network of United Hatzalah from the organization’s dispatch center in Jerusalem, notifying all of the EMS personnel in the Mevaseret region to an emergency taking place in Kibbutz Tzuba.
I together with Tomer Nuni, and his wife Shlomit, who is also a volunteer EMT with the ambulance services, raced over to the scene from Mevaseret. While en route I thought about the other members of the team and recalled that we have a sensational volunteer paramedic named Ma’ayan Yogev who lives in Tzuba. I called her and told her that there was an unconscious person in the kibbutz and that we may have to do CPR and asked whether she was available to come and assist.
She immediately ran over to the location and made it to the address in less than three minutes. She began the CPR on a 60-year-old man who had a sudden heart attack.
I also recalled that we have a new EMT in our area, Yisrael Shachar, who recently moved from Jerusalem and has an ambucycle. He lives in the nearby neighborhood of Kiryat Yearim. I called him and told him about the incident, and he too immediately dropped what he was doing and rushed over.
We arrived at the scene and met none other than Tzafrir, who is not only the security head of the kibbutz and a United Hatzalah volunteer but is also in charge of the Etzion search and rescue units. He helped arrange to light the area in which the heart attack took place as it was outside and in the dark.
We assisted with compressions, assisted breathing, and anything else that was asked of us.
It was a long resuscitative effort that involved hand-in-hand cooperation between all of the teams and EMS organizations that arrived. We all worked really hard. We sweated together to succeed at our common goal of saving a life.
The patient was transported to hospital amid continuing resuscitative efforts but unfortunately was pronounced dead at the hospital.
Today the angel of death defeated us. But I was still astounded at the sheer willingness of people to come from all over, drop whatever they were doing and rush to save a life. A paramedic, ambucycle EMTs and regular volunteers all arrived in just a few moments to a rather distantly located town that was far from any ambulance dispatch or medical center.
I am continually proud to know that these are the people I volunteer with, these men and women who drop what they are doing to rush to help others.
Last year this type of response would not have been possible. Our chapter head, Ofir Ben Yitzchak, has continually insisted that each and every town in the region have first responders so that we can minimize response time. This theory has proven itself time and time again. The situation is getting better as another EMT course is set to graduate in the region. This is the first ever full EMT course to graduate in Mevaseret and it will more than double the number of our volunteers in the city. Our life saving efforts are bringing people from different towns closer together and strengthening all of our communities.