IsraelSeen Exclusive – Interrupting Seder in Modi’in to Rescue a Neighbor
Meir Ben-Varon was in the middle of his Pesach Seder with his family in Modi’in when he received an urgent alert from United Hatzalah dispatch and command center alerting him to an emergency right nearby. Recognizing the nearby address, Ben-Varon immediately jumped up from the table, apologized to his family, which included his three daughters as well as his siblings and their families and his parents who were all over at his house for the holiday. Ben-Varon raced to the scene and arrived at the location just 60 seconds later and was the first responder on the scene.
Ben-Varon found a 76-year-old patient lying on the floor, surrounded by worried relatives. The elderly man appeared to have a fractured hip and a broken nose. He had sustained minor injuries to his head and back and was in tears from his frustration at having “ruined” the family Seder.
“The man was conscious when I arrived, but he was suffering from horrible pain in his head and in his lower abdomen. He had fallen and it was unclear whether he was suffering a serious spinal injury.” Ben-Varon calmed and reassured the elderly man (and his anxious loved ones), as he completed a thorough assessment. Meir provided initial immobilization, treating wounds and prepping the patient for evacuation to the hospital. It still took emergency crews another 30 minutes to arrive on location. Meir assisted as the man was transferred to the ambulance to be transported to the hospital.
The next morning, Ben-Varon raced out to treat an elderly woman who had lost consciousness. He was joined on scene by a volunteer physician with United Hatzalah. The duo found the woman’s blood pressure levels to be dangerously low, and quickly attached an IV for rapid access to fluids and medications. When the paramedics finally arrived at the scene, they found the patient alert, stable and ready for transport.
Ben-Varon has been a United Hatzalah volunteer for the past three years and has a lot of experience dealing with emergencies that happen both near and far, and even responding on holidays and on Shabbat is not unusual for him. “I began volunteering because I always wanted to take an EMT course, but I never got the chance to do so,” Ben-Varon said.
“After I became a licensed Optometrist, I managed to take a course and began volunteering. I always saw the information in the course as being vital and that everyone should know the information that at least an EMT knows. If everyone knew the information and underwent the course of an EMT, then many more lives would be saved.”
“There is no end to the learning that we do. With every emergency call that I go out to, I learn more and more. The practical learning is often more important than the theory that you learn in the course. So over the past three years, I have learned so much about how to help people. And anyone who does volunteer as an EMT will learn so much and all of it is vital for helping people. Each Myocardial Infarction (MI) that I go to is different from the one before. Almost no two cases are the same just like no two people are the same. I am thankful that I was given the opportunity to volunteer with United Hatzalah. I used to volunteer in numerous other organizations as well, but here I believe that I have found my place in the organization that has become like a second family to me. I am happy to be able to help my neighbors and my community here in Modi’in and happy that I have finally gotten the chance to do so.”