One year ago, a frantic mother called the United Hatzalah emergency hotline number 1221 and told the dispatchers that her infant was choking. The dispatcher who received the call immediately sent volunteer EMTs and paramedics to the scene. He then began instructing the woman on the phone how to perform CPR on her baby and counted with her while she performed compressions per his instruction.
In under 90 seconds, while the woman was still on the phone with the dispatcher, United Hatzalah volunteer EMS responders arrived at the address and took over the resuscitation, relieving the frightened mother.
This past Tuesday, the mother and baby arrived at United Hatzalah headquarters to celebrate the one-year anniversary of the incident and to thank the organization and its responders for saving the baby’s life. The ambucycle EMT who saved the child’s life was on hand for a tear-filled reunion.
“Today I had the pleasure of meeting the brave parents and hugging little Chaim during their visit to our headquarters,” said Moshe Teitelbaum, the CEO of United Hatzalah. “There is no greater feeling than seeing little Chaim smiling, alive and well,” he added.
United Hatzalah has 3,000 volunteers nationwide, run by a central dispatch center located in the headquarters of the organization in Jerusalem. Their community-based network of over 40 local chapters in eight regions across Israel, coupled with their advanced notification and dispatch technology, has allowed the organization to lower EMS response time to under three minutes nationwide, and under 90 seconds in densely populated areas such as Jerusalem and Tel Aviv.
The volunteers put their own lives on hold and race out to save others in need of medical assistance at any time of the day or night. These lifesavers are modern-day heroes of EMS.