Man Resuscitated by EMS Volunteer Donates Two Defibrillators to the Organization That Saved His Life

Approximately six months ago, Aviram Zeiler, a United Hatzalah volunteer, saved the life of Aharon Atlas who had collapsed while watching a sporting event in Tel Aviv. The incident occurred at the Hadar Sports Center where Atlas has a sudden heart attack and fell unconscious on the floor. This past week, the two men met up again for the first time since the incident when Atlas donated two new defibrillators of the – the same exact type that saved his life. In addition, he donated a medical kit.

Aviram Zeiler and Aharon Atlas meet again 6 months after Atlas' heart attack at the Hadar Sports Center in Tel Aviv

Aviram Zeiler and Aharon Atlas meet again 6 months after Atlas’ heart attack at the Hadar Sports Center in Tel Aviv

Atlas, who is married and a father of four was 49 years old when the heart attack occurred. He attended his son’s sporting match at the sports center together with his wife and other children. “We sat in the back row” Atlas recounted. “My eight-year-old daughter was sitting on my lap and my wife and eldest son were sitting right in front of us. At a certain point, I just blacked out and don’t recall anything from that point onwards.”

Atlas had a sudden heart attack and began suffering tremors while his eight-year-old daughter was still on his lap. Doctor Zeiler, who at the time was also in the auditorium, heard the cries for help and rushed over to offer assistance. “Just a few minutes prior to the incident I was sitting in the auditorium as a spectator when I was called upon to treat a young woman who had broken her leg as part of the competition,” said Zeller.

“As I had just finished treating her I still had all of the medical equipment with me when Mr. Atlas collapsed. I ran over to where Aharon was seated and I saw his son and another adult begin to perform CPR on him. I took it all in. I saw his eight-year-old daughter terrified, his older son attempt to revive his father, his other son who was participating stop what he was doing and begin to climb through the seats as he understood that something had happened to his dad, and Aharon’s wife standing there in shock. I told myself that I was not letting this man die in front of his children, not like this and not today. I began CPR and treating Atlas. In just a few moments, other responders began to arrive at the sports complex and they began assisting me. Much to our joy, and the joy of the family we managed to bring Atlas’ pulse back. Atlas was taken to the hospital, regained consciousness fairly quickly, and five days later was released from the hospital with no long-lasting effects.”

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First EMS Course Given in Sign Language in Israel

After becoming the first deaf EMT in Israel, Nechama Loebel has once again broken barriers for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Community in Israel by instructing the first EMS course in sign language. Loebel, who recently graduated from both a Psychotrauma and Crisis Response course as well as an EMS instructors course, is certified to instruct basic CPR and EMS classes. She wasted no time in organizing the first ever EMS course in sign language for fellow members of the deaf and hard of hearing community in Israel.

Nechama Loebel instructs first ever  EMS course in sign language in Israel for members of the Deaf and Hearing Impaired Community

Nechama Loebel instructs first ever EMS course in sign language in Israel for members of the Deaf and Hearing Impaired Community

“It is my dream to be able to take this lifesaving information and pay it forward to other members of the deaf and hard of hearing community in Israel,” said Loebel, who only a few weeks prior completed her instructors course.  

 The course took place in the community clubhouse for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing in Ashdod. United Hatzalah offers family safety courses that are comprised of basic EMS skills including CPR and proper procedures for treating common injuries such as burns, choking, light wounds and broken bones. As part of the network of courses which are offered across the country, Nechama felt that it was important to offer these classes to the Deaf and Hard of Hearing community in their own language. “The goal is to provide as many people as we can with the basic tools they need to save a life in an emergency. There is no reason that the Deaf community should be excluded from that,” said Loebel. “I am ecstatic that I am able to help provide this service for others who live with the same challenges that I face so that they too will be able to save lives.”      Continue reading

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Burning Lawnmower Injures Petach Tikvah Municipal Worker

On Tuesday, a 30-year-old municipality worker was cutting the grass in a road median in Petach Tikva, when his ride-on lawn mower suddenly burst into flames. The panicked worker jumped out of the vehicle, landing square in the roadway. The oncoming car had no chance to stop as it plowed into the unfortunate individual.

Scene from the burning lawnmower

Scene from the burning lawnmower

Onlookers called emergency medical services and upon receiving the urgent alert, United Hatzalah volunteer Ariel Peretz dashed out of work, jumped on his ambucycle and sped to the scene, arriving within 3 minutes.  As the first medical responder on site, Ariel quickly assessed the semi-conscious man’s multiple injuries and swiftly administered oxygen. Other EMS personnel arrived and assisted Peretz in bandaging the man’s serious head injury and immobilizing his fractured limbs. When the ambulance arrived, Peretz briefed the crew and assisted in transferring the man to the vehicle in stable condition to be transported to the hospital.

 

Peretz is just one of 3,500 EMS volunteers with the organization who drops whatever it is that they are doing and heads out to medical emergencies and provide pre-ambulatory EMS services.

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United Hatzalah Volunteers Leave Appreciation Event To Respond To A Murder

On Thursday, members of United Hatzalah volunteer EMS services were in the middle of an appreciation event hosted by the Deputy Mayor of Rehovot when they were called to respond to a shooting. The incident took place in the fields outside of the industrial zone of Rehovot, not too far from the Weisgal Retreat, Sports Complex and Pool, where the volunteers were enjoying their night out.

Poolside during the appreciation event for United Hatzalah volunteers in Rehovot

Poolside during the appreciation event for United Hatzalah volunteers in Rehovot

United Hatzalah volunteers are usually going about their daily lives and drop whatever they are doing to answer emergency calls as they happen. Whether these emergencies are car accidents, work accidents, injured or sick people who need assistance, the EMS first responders rush to them all in a quick and professional manner in an effort to provide the patient with medical assistance as quickly as possible. This time was no different.

The appreciation event for the volunteers that included dinner and a swim, was organized in part by the Deputy Mayor of Rehovot Matan Deal, and the Director of the Resort Baruch Ayash in recognition of the dedication and devotion of the volunteers to the people of the city. The relaxing atmosphere was broken by the alert that came from the dispatch center regarding the shooting. Without thinking twice the volunteers all picked up and left the resort to go and treat the wounded person. Unfortunately, the victim was pronounced dead on-scene.

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EMS Vehicle Donated to Israel in Honor of Donald Trump’s Recent Visit

Isy Danon, a South African donor of United Hatzalah, Israel’s national volunteer EMS organization, was so inspired by Donald Trump’s recent visit to Israel that he donated an ambucycle to honor the U.S. President. Isy Danon is a proud donor to the organization and a member of its International Committee.

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Danon felt that Trump, who has shown his love and support for Israel in general, and for United Hatzalah in specific, was worthy of having an ambucycle donated in his honor. The ambucycle was inaugurated as one of 180 ambucycles on May 26th, a few days after Trump’s visit and in the presence of the U.S. Ambassador to Israel, Mr. David Friedman.

“Isy has always been a good friend of the organization. He was very moved by the fact that Trump came to Israel and made his visit so quickly after becoming President. To have the support of so many people who are seeing the effects that this organization is having on the population of Israel inspires me to keep pushing every day and to keep expanding our operation,” said Beer.

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The organization inaugurated the new fleet of ambucycles in Tel Aviv before a large gathered crowd and showed off the newly designed orange fleet with a parade around the city.

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From Teaneck With Love – New Jersey Couple Inspires Others to Help Save lives in Israel

On Wednesday evening, Teaneck residents Cynthia and Abe Steinberger hosted a parlor meeting at their home in an effort to encourage their friends and neighbors to take up the cause that has inspired them for the past eight months, saving lives in Israel. According to Cynthia, the couple was first exposed to the idea during a similar parlor meeting that they had attended last November.

At the earlier meeting, the Steinbergers were introduced to Israel’s national volunteer EMS organization United Hatzalah and the organization’s President and Founder Eli Beer together with one of its most active volunteers Gavy Friedson.  

Jason Katz speaking at the parlor meeting at the Steinberger's house

Eli Beer speaking at the parlor meeting at the Steinberger’s house

“Last November, a friend of ours had a parlor meeting, which I went to, but as we have so many of these events I wasn’t the most excited about it,” Cynthia explained. The evening would play out in a way that very much surprised Cynthia, and inspired her to not only donate a significant amount to the organization but to work towards getting others to contribute as well. “Eli Beer spoke at the event together with Gavy Friedson and I was so blown away by the presentation that when I left the meeting I immediately knew that this is something I wanted to donate to in honor of my parents,” she added.  

Cynthia identified with the lifesaving work that the organization does in Israel and the selflessness that its volunteers show. “Hearing about how much effort this organization puts into trying to help people as quickly as possible and seeing the organization traverse the spectrum of the populace in Israel and include everyone from different backgrounds, showed me that this is the model that all of us should strive for. We should all want to help each other as much as this organization and its volunteers do.” Cynthia added that there is a Zionist element of the work that this organization does that helped her solidify her decision. “It is so impressive to see this coming from Israel. From a moral and social perspective, it is something that should be copied in many cities and countries around the world. One of the most remarkable things is seeing Arabs, Ultra-Orthodox, Orthodox and Secular Jews working together in the same room every day in the dispatch center. I think that room is something that everyone should see when they visit Israel. It is simply remarkable.”

Following last year’s parlor meeting Cynthia spearheaded the donation of an ambucycle on behalf of her own family, her two brothers and their families, in the honor of their parents. This past week, when the organization was looking to hold another parlor meeting in Teaneck, the choice of location was obvious as the Steinbergers graciously agreed to host and were honored by the organization for their continued support and effort on its behalf.

Jason Katz, the Regional Development Officer in New Jersey, organized the event and spoke highly of the support that has been received by the Steinbergers. “I’ve been with the organization for three years and I love every minute of it. This organization hinges on how well we can all spread awareness throughout our communities to support saving lives in Israel. Teaneck is an amazing community and Cynthia and Abe are such great friends and supporters. I can definitely say that we are honored having them as representatives for our lifesaving work in Israel.”

Jason Katz speaking at the parlor meeting at the Steinberger's house

Jason Katz speaking at the parlor meeting at the Steinberger’s house

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United Hatzalah Opens Special Re-Training Program for Recently Released Military Medics to Join Civilian EMS

United Hatzalah has recently begun a countrywide campaign in which the organization is making the registration and retraining procedure for military and combat medics to enter the civilian arena as EMTs much simpler,” said Moti Elmaliach, United Hatzalah Spokesperson. “Military medics can sign up online or over the phone and will be given a course specifically suited for their level of training that is half the time of a regular course thereby allowing these medics to utilize their training and get out into the field saving lives even faster.”

IDF cooperation

The course is geared towards recent released military and combat medics or medics in reserves and have completed an IDF retraining course within the last two years. All eligible medics must still qualify for the basic guidelines of registration with United Hatzalah, those being that the prospective volunteers be over 21 years of age and have a car handy that they can head out to emergency calls with.

 

Providing that the medics meet these two qualifications and have no criminal record, they can register for the expedited course and transition from a military medic to a civilian EMT.  The expedited course will focus on areas of medical training regarding the treatment of patients in situations that the military training didn’t focus on.

669 unit drill with UH and others

“We have found that military medics are incredibly well trained when it comes to trauma,” explained Noa Zohar, Director of the Education Department at United Hatzalah. “They deal with it all the time. They are equally well trained with giving a patient an intravenous line. They are extremely experienced with these types of procedures but are often lacking knowledge and experience in treating illnesses or assisting a laboring mother in giving birth. These cases are not common in the military field and the medics need to be properly trained in these areas before they can receive civilian accreditation,”

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United Hatzalah EMS Couple and Pair of Twins Receive Citation of Excellence From Mayor of Jerusalem

On Wednesday, the citation for excellence was presented to volunteers of each branch of emergency services in Jerusalem. In the field of EMS, the award was presented to Miriam and Dr. Adam Ballin for their dedication and devotion as United Hatzalah volunteers together with two other volunteer responders, twin brothers Eliezer and Shlomo Brandmark.
United Hatzalah recipients of Citation of Excellence from Jerusalem's Mayor

United Hatzalah recipients of Citation of Excellence from Jerusalem’s Mayor

Miriam and Adam Ballin began their work in the field of EMS while they were still living in Australia. Miriam was a dispatcher and Adam volunteered as a local first responder. They responded to serious cases and worked together as much as possible to save lives. “In the organization we were involved with, which was religious in nature, women weren’t allowed to answer calls in the field,” said Miriam. “It bothered me that when Adam went out to a serious call I was not able to be there with him, aside from being on the other side of the phone line.”   Five years ago they immigrated to Israel and continued their work with United Hatzalah, an organization that allows people of all walks of life in Israel to volunteer in its ranks. Miriam, who is a fully registered EMT, was finally able to join her husband, a doctor when he responded to calls in the field. But she didn’t stop there.

Together with Rickie Rabinowitz and Avi Steinherz, Miriam spearheaded the founding and development of The Psychotrauma and Crisis Response Unit. The unit is currently comprised of 150 volunteers nationwide who provide support and stabilization for victims, family members, and bystanders at incidents of severe emotional trauma.

Miriam Ballin receiving her Citation of Excellence

Miriam Ballin receiving her Citation of Excellence

“We have responded to some pretty trying and serious calls together,” said Miriam. “In those instances, we realized the importance of supporting each other.”  A few examples of such incidents include when the couple responded to the Armon Hanatziv terror attack in January 2017, or when they found and treated their neighbor who had collapsed at a concert at the Jerusalem Convention Center in April.

Dr. Adam Ballin receiving his Citation of Excellence

Dr. Adam Ballin receiving his Citation of Excellence

The couple, who are in their thirties, in addition to having full-time jobs and volunteering as EMS responders, are raising five children under the age of seven.

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Israeli EMS Response in Mass Casualty Drill Wows ISDEF Expo Attendees

During the recent ISDEF Premier International Defense and Homeland Security (HLS) Exhibition this week, United Hatzalah held a mass casualty incident (MCI) training drill in an effort to display Israel’s prowess at providing an immediate first response to large-scale emergencies to the attendees at the conference.   

ISDEF Expo

ISDEF Expo

As opposed to previous drills demonstrated by the organization, this drill was unique in that it allowed participants of the expo, who were primarily an international audience, to experience how Israeli EMS providers engage the community in order to tackle major terror attacks and provide national EMS response in less than 3 minutes.

Preparation for MCI drill

Preparation for MCI drill

The “victims” were students from a local boy’s school and had undergone a briefing of how to act as “injured persons”. To make the drill more realistic for EMS personnel and observers, the “patients” were made up by specialized trauma makeup artists.

 

As the drill began, Expo participants were invited to watch the scene unfold. At 10:40 a.m. on Wednesday morning, a “terrorist” initiated a simulated attack on a school that had been set up in the lobby of the Expo. Volunteer actors screamed and run in different directions, each being hurt by the simulated explosion and gunfire.

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Upon receiving notification of the incident, the dispatch center alerted nearby volunteer responders via the organization’s advanced phone application to the “emergency”.  At 10:41 a.m., the ‘terrorists’ were neutralized by security forces. At 10:42 a.m., the first volunteer EMS responder arrived. Shortly thereafter an additional 15 paramedics, EMTs, and doctors, all of whom are first responders, began pouring in. Treatment of “injured” patients at the scene began within three minutes, and responders were divided up by the central responder who had arrived first on the scene as they arrived. The first responder triaged patients and began sending other responders to treat the most urgent cases. All patients who were able to walk by themselves were urged to congregate in one location for treatment, while the more serious and immobile cases were treated where they lay.

 

At the same time as the medics were treating ‘physically injured’ children, United Hatzalah’s Psychotrauma Crisis and Response Unit’s volunteers treated traumatized children who witnessed the ‘attack’. These patients were brought aside and supported by the Psychotrauma responders who employed all of the protocols developed by the PFA model as it has been adapted by the unit’s mental health professionals.

Psychotrauma Unit at the drill

Psychotrauma Unit at the drill

Pinny Azaria, an expo attendee and Israeli-born witness to the drill said that he was very impressed by the exercise and the professionalism it displayed. “This drill showed a good balance between being fake and real. The makeup portraying blood and severed limbs gave the scene a sense of gross realism. However, in my experience of actually being present in a real MCI, the absence of screaming and true chaos showed that this was indeed a drill. Either way, the response itself, as well as the response time, was highly commendable.” Pinny and his partner Sarah commented that “the ambucycle innovation is very impressive. It’s use and effectiveness in emergency situations reflects Israel’s “start-up nation” approach.”

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Turning Terror into Acts of Loving-kindness

Family of Terror Victim Sued Iran Dedicates Ambulance in Honor of Fallen Loved One

Family of slain Alan Beer stands in front of the new Mobile Intensive Car Unit donated in his honor

Family of slain Alan Beer stands in front of the new Mobile Intensive Car Unit donated in his honor

14 years ago, on June 11th, 2003, Alan Beer and 16 other people were murdered by a terrorist who blew himself up on the 14a bus at Davidka Square. The family of Alan Beer sued for damages from Iran and other entities that support terror and were victorious in their lawsuit. From the penalties awarded, only a small amount ever reached the family and they decided to utilize this money and inaugurate a mobile intensive care ambulance that will save lives in the city in which the terror attack was carried out.

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14 years to the day, in the very spot of the terror attack, Davidka Square, the relatives of slain Alan Beer stood together with family members of other victims, as well as EMS and hospital personnel who treated the victims from that heinous attack. In their presence the ambulance was unveiled and a Torah scroll was written in honor of the fallen.

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Alan, hailed from Cleveland, Ohio and was a new immigrant to Israel.  He had been in the country for only a few months when his life was cut short by the tragic attack. In the words of his sister Cookie Maisel who spoke at the dedication, “Alan loved Jerusalem. He loved it and he loved the people in it. He loved talking with them and hearing their stories. It is why he took the bus instead of driving his own car. What better way to pay tribute to him than by dedicating an ambulance that will save the lives of people in the city that he loved so much.”

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