New Lifesaving ATV to Aid Gush Shiloh Residents

United Hatzalah of Israel dedicated its newest all-terrain vehicle (ATV) to serve the residents of the Gush Shiloh area, which is the next step in fulfilling their promise to add more lifesaving vehicles and first responders to Judea and Samaria. The dedication ceremony took place on Monday in the town of Adei Ad, slightly northeast of Shiloh itself. 

The ATV will provide first response emergency service to medical emergencies as well as search and rescue emergencies in the region known as Gush Shiloh. It is capable of transporting a patient through difficult terrain, particularly in mountainous and forested areas. 

Regional Council Head of Binyamin Yisrael Gantz participated in the ceremony together with President and Founder of United Hatzalah Eli Beer. The two drove the vehicle across the region and spoke about continuing partnerships in providing lifesaving services to the residents of the area. 

The dedication came just two weeks after dozens of new United Hatzalah volunteers graduated from their training course and became first responders, adding more emergency medical coverage to the region.  

During the ceremony, Beer stated: “I am very proud to be here. There is an incredible amount of activity going on here that is being done by incredible people. Here, in Shiloh, the city where the Tabernacle resided, this is where everything began. It is a great pride to United Hatzalah that we have an incredible chapter in the Binyamin region, one which is strengthened by the Head of the Council Yisrael Gantz, who is one of our veteran volunteers in the region.” 

Gantz told Beer: “I pray that the new vehicle and gear which we received this morning from United Hatzalah will be used for good things only, and will help save many lives. I wish to thank United Hatzalah for this significant donation of this new ATV to our region, and for continuing to assist all of the residents who live here. It is to our merit that we have people like you (Eli Beer) who give everything of themselves to protect the lives of others in Israel and around the world. I also want to thank the volunteers themselves who work tirelessly to ensure the safety of others, both in the Binyamin region and across the country. Anyone who gives of themselves to help others is a truly righteous person.”  

United Hatzalah volunteer EMT Menachem Bakush who will be entrusted with the day-to-day operation of the vehicle. Bakush said: “For a long time we have dreamed of having an ATV such as this here in the region. This vehicle is capable of reaching patients in areas where regular cars and ambulances cannot go. It will help us save many lives. In fact, we already used it yesterday in responding to an emergency in the area and it proved incredibly useful. I have no doubt that we will help many people with this. I want to thank everyone involved who is working to help improve the emergency medical services in the Binyamin region.”  

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From Checkout To Choking – A Lifesaving Rescue In Less Than A Minute.

Last Friday at 12:51 P.M. United Hatzalah volunteer EMT Ezra Gottlieb was in a supermarket in his hometown of Beitar Illit making his last-minute purchases for Shabbat when United Hatzalah’s dispatch and command center alerted him to a choking child near his location. Without hesitating for even a moment, Ezra left his groceries in the shopping cart, and without even waving at the shocked cashier, the dedicated volunteer dashed out of the store hopped on his ambucycle and rushed to the nearby address, arriving in just 30 seconds.

A United Hatzalah ambucycle (illustration)

Ezra grabbed his medical bag and ran up the stairs taking them three at a time until he was inside the apartment. When he opened the door he found a frantic couple holding their 15-month-old boy, who was coughing and gasping for breath. Ezra swiftly scooped up the child, turned him on his back and examined his airway. Seeing some light reflecting from inside the boy’s throat, the experienced EMT carefully and skillfully reached into the boy’s mouth and grabbed ahold of the shiny object. 

Ezra proficiently extracted the obstruction which turned out to be a candy wrapper.  Instantly, the tiny child gulped in large breaths of fresh air. Seconds later the boy was breathing normally.  The crisis was over! 

The cautious medic took the boy’s vital signs and found everything within the normal range.  Less than a minute later, the happy & babbling young child didn’t even seem to remember the dramatic incident that had just occurred. As their child now was back to his normal, happy, and healthy self, the father canceled the ambulance even before it arrived.

The parents, who were overcome with relief and joy, could not stop praising Ezra who had so quickly come to their son’s rescue, just in the nick of time.

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Doctor Attests – United Hatzalah’s Ten Kavod Project Assisting The Elderly Saved A Life

On Wednesday, United Hatzalah’s Ten Kavod project of visiting the elderly resulted in the life of a Beer Sheva resident being saved. 

This was attested to by the doctor of the woman whose life was saved.  

Volunteer EMT and Ten Kavod participant Netanel Samich from Be’er Sheva took a number of students from the Makif Gimmel School on a regular visit to the old-age community center in the Bet neighborhood in the city. During the visit, Netanel and the students provided basic medical checkups for the elderly at the community center. During one woman’s checkup, which included checking her pulse, blood pressure, and glucose levels, the student who was performing the check alerted Netanel to the abnormal readings that he was receiving from the woman. They told the woman that due to the danger she was in that she needed to see her doctor immediately. The woman followed the instructions of the volunteers and went to her physician. The doctor found that she required immediate drug treatment to alleviate the potentially life-threatening situation.

Netanel Samich with his ambucycle

 

After her treatment, the woman called Netanel to thank him and said: “My doctor just told me that your checkup resulted in my life being saved. Thank you.” 

United Hatzalah’s Ten Kavod project is a country-wide initiative in order to prevent elderly people in Israel, many of whom live by themselves, from feeling lonely, depressed, and even getting sick or passing away without anyone noticing. 

Last year in Israel 133 elderly people died in their homes without anyone knowing about it for days. The program works together with local social services to identify and assist elderly people and pair them together with trained medical personnel to provide them with a social outlet and basic medical checkup in their own home free of charge. 

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Two Successful CPRs In Less Than An Hour

Last Friday night, at 7:47 pm, United Hatzalah volunteer EMT and ambucycle driver Zvi Horowitz received an alert from United Hatzalah’s dispatch and command center alerting him to a person who had just lost consciousness near Zvi’s home in Hadera.

A United Hatzalah first responder riding on an ambucycle (illustration)

The dedicated medic dashed out to his ambucycle and sped along the roads to quickly arrive at the address. A 60-year-old cancer patient with an implanted pacemaker had suffered a massive heart attack. Zvi joined a United Hatzalah paramedic and additional United Hatzalah EMTs in the resuscitation effort. The team worked together to perform chest compressions, administer artificial respirations and provide cardiac drugs. After a few minutes, they were joined by an intensive care ambulance crew. Three shocks were delivered from a defibrillator. The man’s pulse returned and faded several times until the medics managed to regain steady cardiac activity. The patient was then transported to the hospital alive and in stable (albeit serious) condition.

It was just after 8:30 p.m. when the CPR ended and Zvi and his team were wrapping up their gear. Zvi was looking forward to heading home to his wife and family. Just then, at 8:33 pm, Zvi received another alert from the dispatch alerting him to a second CPR call in his vicinity. Zvi immediately raced to the address on his ambucycle, arriving within one minute.

A frantic woman directed the volunteer EMT to her 69-year-old husband. The man had complained of severe chest pain and difficulty breathing before suddenly collapsing to the floor. Zvi found the man pulseless and foaming at the mouth. Apparently, complications of pneumonia had caused his collapse. Zvi began his second CPR in less than an hour, working with additional EMS personnel who began to arrive, Zvi worked intensely to keep oxygenated blood circulating to the man’s vital organs. After several rounds of compressions and the administration of medications, a steady pulse returned and the man was urgently evacuated to the hospital for further emergency care.

After the calls, Horowitz said: “In cases of cardiac arrest, time is a key factor in success rates and greatly affect how much brain damage, if any, took place. I am thankful that I was able to help two people this evening. These people will continue to live and that is two fewer tragedies, two fewer broken families, and two more people who can enjoy their lives.”

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Saving Lives At A Cemetery

On a recent Thursday morning at around 9:30 am, Chaim Meir Friedman from Kfar Chabad received an alert to a serious accident at the local cemetery. A golf cart used to drive people around the large cemetery had flipped off the path and skidded down the hill before finally landing in some bushes. Chaim immediately jumped on his ambucycle and sped over to the cemetery, easily navigating the narrow roadways through the area until he reached the accident site. He was quickly joined by additional forces, including a fire rescue team and ambulances.

Chaim Meir approaching the fallen golf cart

Four people (two men and two women) had been injured. Chaim worked together with the team to extricate the victims and provide emergency medical intervention. One woman, in her seventies, had suffered serious injuries to her torso and lower limbs, as well as a significant head wound. She was quickly stabilized and then medivacked to the hospital while the other three patients, after receiving on-site treatment, were transported to the hospital by ambulances.

Chaim spoke a bit about why he volunteers with United Hatzalah. “I’m one of the earliest volunteers in the organization and it is simply astounding to me that people give up so much of their time to rush out and help others whom they don’t even know. This isn’t even a profession for these people, they are volunteers and they drop everything they are doing to rush out and save others. I am so proud to be a part of a group of people like this, how could I give it up. These are people who think differently than most other people. They always put “the other” person first. You have to have a different mindset in order to do that.”

Chaim also noticed that it was a bit out of the ordinary to save lives at a cemetery. “We respond to emergencies wherever they occur. This particular emergency was quite serious and I am happy that I was able to help the people in need when they needed even if it was inside a cemetery.”

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Have You Ever Had A Feeling So Great It Is Difficult To Put Into Words?

A week ago on Shabbat morning, an elderly woman aspirated half-an-hour after eating breakfast in her home in Holon. Her raspy coughing alerted her daughter, who quickly ran to her side. At first, the daughter didn’t realize the seriousness of the situation but as her mother began to lose consciousness, she suddenly grasped that her mother was choking. In a panic, she dialed United Hatzalah’s emergency number. The dispatchers sent out an instantaneous alert to the volunteers in the vicinity and United Hatzalah volunteer EMT Yosef Sousan Parsi received the emergency alert. He instantly rushed to his ambucycle and sped along the roads to arrive at the address in just two minutes.

Yosef and his ambucycle

 Two additional United Hatzalah ambucycle EMTs followed in seconds, and the threesome rushed into the apartment. They discovered the elderly lady unconscious and pulseless due to the prolonged oxygen deprivation. The three medics immediately began CPR. Working as a team, they took turns performing the strenuous compressions and administering artificial respirations. For a full 25 minutes, the three volunteers relentlessly continued the resuscitation, until they regained stable cardiac activity. A moment later, the responding ambulance crew burst into the room. Not only did they find a viable patient, the woman already had a steady pulse and without further ado, she was placed on a stretcher and whisked off to the hospital.

 

“When I received the call I was a bit surprised to see that this was the same woman I had treated a few days prior for respiratory problems,” Yosef said. “The call came out as a CPR call and I, together with the other volunteers, one of whom was a paramedic from United Hatzalah, rushed over and immediately began a full CPR on the woman. Knowing that we saved this woman’s life was a great feeling. To know that we were able to be there for her in her time of need gives us all the inspiration we need to keep doing this job. Had we not been there, this woman would have waited for 25 minutes for an ambulance and there wouldn’t have been much to do for the ambulance crew once they arrived,” he added.  

 

Yosef concluded by thanking his fellow responders. “This was the fifth successful CPR over the course of the week for our team here in Holon and the fifth person’s life that was saved due to the rapid intervention provided by my fellow United Hatzalah volunteers here. I am so proud to be a part of this team it is difficult to put into words.” 

 

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Hotel Security Guard Saves Six Lives

Jamal Veraki is 29-years-old and works as a security guard in a hotel in the southern city of Eilat. Jamal recently graduated from his EMT training course and has been a volunteer with United Hatzalah for just six months. In that time he has saved the lives of six people, some of whom were guests in the hotel that he works in. 

In October, Jamal saved a young boy who was a hotel guest and had choked on a small piece of food. The boy’s father brought the boy, who was quickly turning blue, to the nearest hotel employee and begged for help. The employee knew that Jamal was a trained EMT and called him on the radio to rush over. In seconds, Jamal was at the scene and performed a successful CPR and got the boy breathing again. 

Jamal with the young boy he saved

Another recent call was for a little boy, choking and gasping for air in the hotel restaurant! Management alerted Jamal to the emergency and within mere seconds the United Hatzalah medic was on the scene. He secured a clear airway and reassured the boy’s mother, as her 3-year-old son started breathing again. Learning that the patient has a serious allergy to peanuts, Jamal advised the mother to administer the child’s allergy medications “just in case” and pursue follow-up medical care.

Thirty minutes later, Jamal received a second emergency alert, this time to an incident unfolding in the hotel lobby. Racing over, Jamal found a toddler lying unconscious on the floor. He provided a lifesaving shot from the boy’s EpiPen Jr. and supplied high-flow oxygen, checking vital signs to confirm his assessment that the child was in the throes of severe anaphylaxis. Jamal carefully monitored his patient, conferring with a United Hatzalah physician as the child’s condition stabilized and he started to regain consciousness.

At the end of the family’s eventful vacation in Eilat, the young toddler ran over and gave Jamal a hug. The boy’s parents snapped a photo, thoroughly undermining Jamal’s tough-guy image as the hotel’s security guard. The little boy is alive today thanks to Jamal’s rapid intervention and medical expertise. 

On the evening of Sunday, January 5th, an elderly man collapsed at his home in Eilat. Anxious family members called the emergency hotline for help. Jamal was busy working at the hotel when dispatch alerted him to the emergency and he quickly rushed to the location. Finding the patient with no sign of cardiac activity, Jamal and a pair of United Hatzalah colleagues launched into emergency CPR, interspersing chest compressions with assisted ventilation. The man’s loved ones watched in trepidation, and after 15 minutes of strenuous efforts, the medics managed to restart the man’s heart. The patient even started breathing again independently. An intensive care ambulance arrived and Jamal hopped in the back, assisting the under-staffed ALS crew as together they evacuated the man to the hospital. Jamal later received a special message of gratitude from the Chief Paramedic, citing the volunteer’s professionalism and dedication in going the extra mile.

 

Jamal reflected on his eventful first few months as a first responder and said: “I’ve had five or six emergency calls in the hotel itself that have been lifesaving. The hotel staff already knows to call me whenever there is a medical emergency in the hotel or in the vicinity. It is life-changing for me to know that I have this ability to save people’s lives whenever there is an emergency. Since I finished my course six months ago, I’ve saved three children’s lives. Some people go through their entire life without saving another but I’ve done it six times in as many months and that is simply incredible.” 

Jamal continued: “Whether the medical emergency happens in the hotel or nearby, my boss tells me to leave and head out to save lives even in the middle of my shift. Whenever he hears my radio go off, he says, go and save someone’s life. The rest of the staff come to take over my responsibilities while away. They have really come to understand the power of having volunteer responders all over the country and in our midst. People know what the logo and symbol of the organization mean and I am proud that in my short time of just six months I have managed to make such a difference. “

 

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Disabled EMT Saves Lives In Israel With Specialized EMS Vehicle

Dan Shmuel heads the Tel Aviv branch of United Hatzalah, a volunteer EMS organization that provides all of its services free of charge to anyone who needs it, regardless of nationality, race, religion or gender.

Dan and the Mini-Lance responding to an emergency in Tel Aviv

Dan was injured in a serious motorcycle accident in 2000. After a long period of rehabilitation, he was able to walk again with the help of crutches. His disability does not prevent him from volunteering as an EMT with United Hatzalah and saving lives, and he continues to do so on a daily basis.

As private cars and ambulances take far too long to respond to a medical emergency in the city due to the traffic congestion, and as Dan can no longer ride a motorcycle, he gets to medical emergencies by utilizing a specialized electric car, called a mini-lance (mini-ambulance), that allows him to get through city-traffic quickly and efficiently due to its small size.

Dan receives his mini-ance from UH at a special ceremony in 2018

Last week, Dan was finishing his breakfast when United Hatzalah’s Dispatch and Command Center alerted him to a medical emergency that had just taken place nearby. A serious motor vehicle accident had just occurred on Nachum Gold Street in the heart of the city. Dan told the dispatcher that he was en route, and rushed out the door to his mini-lance parked right outside. He flicked on the lights and sirens and rushed over to the location of the accident.

 

Upon arrival just three minutes later, Dan found a motorcycle that had been run over by a bus. The motorcycle’s rider had been thrown through the air and landed on the side of the road. Moving the mini-lance strategically in front of the victim in order to create a safe environment and protect him from oncoming traffic, Dan moved quickly and helped immobilize the patient to a backboard,  preparing him for medical transport. An ambulance arrived after several minutes and Dan with fellow United Hatzalah responders loaded the motorcyclist aboard for rapid evacuation to a nearby trauma center.

 

The speed with which Dan is able to arrive at accident sites, especially within Tel Aviv, a city plagued by traffic congestion, enables him to rapidly offer emergency care to the wounded.

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United Hatzalah’s Emergency Room Assistance Program Expands to Rabin Medical Center – Rabin Becomes 21st Hospital To Adopt Program

On Monday, United Hatzalah and Rabin Medical Center in Petach Tikvah announced a partnership that will see the two entities work together to cut down the waiting time and the overload of patient intake in the medical center’s emergency room (E.R.). The partnership will see United Hatzalah EMTs volunteer for shifts assisting the E.R. medical staff with patient intake and checkups and provide some much-needed additional manpower to the E.R. In return, the volunteers receive additional exposure to medical cases and be able to utilize and hone their skills as an EMT in the E.R. gaining exposure to secondary and tertiary evaluations and learning procedures that are not done exclusively in E.R.s.

mergency room volunteer orientation for United Hatzalah volunteers at Hadassah Ein Kerem hospital (illustration)

Rabin Medical Center is the 21st medical center to join the organization’s E.R. Assistance Program in Israel. The program started nine years ago at the Rambam Medical Center in Haifa and now includes Ichilov Hospital, Assuta Ashdod, Rabin Medical Center, Barzilai Medical Center, Briyuta Be’er Sheva, Dimona Emergency Room, Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital, Galilee Medical Center, Ha’Emek Hospital, Hillel Yaffe, Wolfson Hospital, Ziv Hospital, Yad Sarah Emergency Room, Carmel Hospital, Laniado Hospital, Meir Medical Center, Poriya Hospital, Rambam Medical Center, Shaba Emergency Clinic in Bukata, and Sheba Tel HaShomer Hospital.

 

“The goal of the program is to help ER nurses treat patients faster while at the same time providing invaluable experience for our EMS personnel,” explained Chani Levanon, Director of United Hatzalah’s Emergency Room Assistance Program. “The program allows the nurses to be able to better manage patient intake, provide treatment faster, and streamline basic procedures, while at the same time providing the EMTs and paramedics who participate with valuable hands-on experience with trauma cases and patients suffering from shock. For EMTs who work in areas with a lower amount of traumatic cases, this experience can be invaluable. It is a win-win situation for everyone,” Levanon continued.

UH volunteer EMT Noa Salant visiting a patient in the hospital

Dr. Efrat Harlev, Director of the Beilinson Campus of the Rabin Medical Center spoke about how proud she is to have the program at her hospital. “I am proud to have the ability to join the United Hatzalah volunteers join our E.R. I believe that we will all gain a lot from their personal and professional abilities, and their willingness to help our medical center. We know that this relationship can lead to even more professional knowledge of the volunteers on one hand, and on the other hand, help us with a great many needs at the hospital.”

 

Levanon added: “I want to thank Dr. Efrat Harlev the Director of Beilinson Campus of the Rabin Medical Center, Professor Michael Dersher who runs the E. R. and Kochava Bar-El who runs the volunteer department for the medical center, for all of their assistance in setting this program up in their E.R. I know that it will be mutually beneficial for everyone involved.”

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Following Rescue Of Chen Danzinger, United Hatzalah and Nurofen For Children Open First Aid Courses Across Beit Shemesh

United Hatzalah has teamed up with Nurofen for Children and set a goal to train 500 parents and residents of Beit Shemesh in providing basic first aid to their families and neighbors in case of a medical emergency. The two organizations began a similar initiative in Sderot recently. 

 

The first aid course covers the basics of how to perform CPR, how to treat someone who is choking and how to deal with burns and other household injuries. The course is geared towards parents as well as teachers but is open to the entire community. 

Family Safety course in Beit Shemes

The initiative started in Beit Shemesh following an incident last month in which Chen Danzinger, a teacher in her ninth month of pregnancy, suddenly collapsed from cardiac arrest in the school in which she teaches. On Monday, Chen returned to the school which held a celebration in her honor. Beit Shemesh Mayor Aliza Bloch, as well as other high ranking officials in the city and the United Hatzalah volunteers who assisted in saving Chen’s life, took part in the event.    

 

President and Founder of United Hatzalah Eli Beer said: “The story of Chen’s resuscitation moved us all and showed us just how important it is for everyone to know CPR and first aid. When it comes to medical emergencies, every second counts. It is for this reason that we take upon ourselves the task of training thousands of people in basic first aid response. We know that this training results in lives being saved. By making sure that more people in Beit Shemesh know what to do if someone God forbid gets hurt or is suddenly ill, will safeguard the residents of the city and save lives, the same way that Chen was saved due to the early intervention of people who saw what happened and immediately took action.”

Family Safety course in Beit Shemesh

Beer added, “I wish to thank the Reckitt Benckiser corporation in Israel, the company in charge of Nurofen for Children, who has been assisting us for the past six years in providing family safety courses across Israel and training tens-of-thousands of citizens as part of the joint project that we have.”

 

Guy Yannai, CEO of Reckitt Benckiser in Israel said: “We recognize the Family Safety project as a flagship program whose goal it is to train thousands of citizens each year in providing life-saving first aid in cases of emergencies and drastically reducing the response time of receiving medical intervention before emergency services can arrive at the scene. We will continue to invest in the power of the community and this year we have chosen to invest strongly in the residents of the city of Sderot. We look forward to continuing our partnership with United Hatzalah for many years to come. Over the previous years of collaboration, we have been fortunate to work with an amazing volunteer organization made up of thousands of dedicated men and women each of whom has inspired us.” 

 

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