IsraelSeen Exclusive – Everyday Acts of Loving Kindness That Change the World

Yoseph Haim Amar

IsraelSeen Exclusive – Everyday Acts of Loving Kindness That Change the World

Some people simply live and breathe lifesaving. One such person is Yoseph Haim Amar who volunteers as a volunteer first responder with United Hatzalah. In addition to responding to medical emergencies whenever they occur in his vicinity, Amar is the Jerusalem Municipality security coordinator for 8 local neighborhoods. He also volunteers in Israel’s Home Front Command, which deals with all types of emergency situations from snowstorms to missile attacks. He is fully trained in special rescue operations, such as extricating accident victims trapped in cars, collapsed buildings, and deep rugged valleys.


Amar felt that all of this volunteering wasn’t enough for him and therefore volunteers for the local fire department as well. He teaches first aid courses with United Hatzalah and volunteers for the organization’s ‘Ten Kavod’ Program, which provides well-visits to the at-risk elderly and Holocaust survivors.


For his actual profession, Amar works in marketing for a medical supplies company and has a busy personal life as well being married and the father of two children.


Last Wednesday night Yosef was at home in Tel Zion and spending time with his family when he received an urgent alert from United Hatzalah’s Dispatch and Command Center. The call involved a two-year-old boy who had been playing on his bed and sustained a head injury when his mother got distracted and he somehow fell off.


Amar immediately grabbed his jacket and helmet and ran to his ambucycle, flipped on its lights and sirens and raced to the given address. Amar arrived quickly and was rushed into the apartment by the boy’s young mother, who was crying almost as loudly as the child himself.


Thanks to his many years of experience as a rescuer, as well as being a seasoned father, Amar was able to calm the mother as he took the boy’s vital signs and performed a field neurological assessment. The child’s vitals and pupil dilation were within normal ranges, but he had an angry red bump on his head which seemed to be swelling by the second. Amar advised the mother that despite the relative normalcy of the boy’s vital signs it was important to be examined by a doctor at the local emergency care clinic.


Now calm, the mother thanked Amar for his rapid and caring treatment but claimed she could not afford a visit to the emergency room. Not able to convince her otherwise, Amar detailed for her the signs and symptoms of a concussion and told her it is absolutely imperative to go immediately to the hospital if she detected even slight signals that the boy might have underlying brain trauma. This was his second call that day.


Earlier on Wednesday, at 9:15 in the morning, Amar was at his office when another alert came in from the dispatch center. A 19-year-old woman was taking a shower when she slipped and fell out of the tub and onto the hard tile floor. She was screaming as her mother called for help.


It took Amar less than three minutes to arrive at the scene. He grabbed his medical kit and ran up several flights of stairs to the apartment, not willing to wait for the ancient elevator as it would delay his arrival and treatment. He was let into the apartment by the frantic mother, who explained that the girl was locked in the bathroom and complaining of severe pain in her left arm and neck. The old bathroom door was locked with a key from the inside, and the mother explained that there was no way to open it. Not wasting a second, Amar told the girl to make sure she was clear of the door as he was about to break it open. Amar then leaned back on one leg and delivered a forceful and well-placed kick just to the left of the keyhole, splintering the wood. On the second attempt, the door flew open.


The woman had managed to cover herself with a towel, and Amar quickly gave her another to protect her dignity during treatment. She described how she had gotten injured and the terrible pain that she was in. Amar immobilized her neck in case of spinal injury and splinted her. He took her vital signs and an oral history of any ailments the young woman may have.  Having provided the necessary first aid, Amar left the bathroom so that the girl’s mother could help her dress appropriately for a trip to the hospital. As they awaited the local ambulance to arrive, Amar continued monitoring the patient. When the ambulance showed up, Amar assisted the crew in securing the young woman to a backboard and helped carry her down the stairs and into the vehicle.


“Most of the medical emergencies that we receive are not life-threatening,” explained President and Founder of United Hatzalah Eli Beer. “Patients need help our help with all sorts of emergencies and our volunteers put everything on hold to go out and help them. They don’t do this for the rush or the glory, but for the chance to help another person and make a difference in their lives. This is why I respect each and every volunteer of our so much. It is these selfless acts of loving kindness, such as the ones performed by Yoseph Haim that will help us change the world.”


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