At approximately 11:00 p.m., last night, a 75-year-old man fell unconscious in his home on HaGefen Street in Haifa. His wife found him sprawled out on the floor and immediately called emergency services for help.
One of United Hatzalah’s ambulances was on shift nearby and was dispatched to the scene. They arrived just a few moments later, found the unconscious man, and after quickly assessing his status, initiated CPR. While United Hatzalah mainly uses its ambulances for training new recruits, they also respond to medical emergencies and provide emergency medical care. It is important to note that all of United Hatzalah’s services, including ambulance care and transport, are provided completely free of charge.
Driving the ambulance was volunteer EMT Lior Fadida, with fellow team members Avi Linshe, who is currently training to become an ambulance driver himself, along with EMT trainees Batel Havakuk and Yaniv Sharli.
“As the ambulance driver and driving instructor, I bear the responsibility for everything that goes on with my team,” Fadida said after the incident. “However, as the trainees, who have already graduated their EMT training course and are currently getting field training, need to be ready to handle any situation on their own even from the first shift. While they still need guidance and assistance, I know that I can rely on them fully and therefore I push them to take on leadership roles during incidents.”
The ambulance team arrived at the scene at the same time as a mobile intensive care ambulance. The unconscious man’s anxious wife led them inside to where their neighbor was performing CPR on her husband. She told them how her husband suffered from a heart condition in the past but this cardiac arrest was incredibly unexpected and frightening. When she found him lying in that same spot minutes before, their kind neighbor ran over to help while the ambulance and crew were on their way.
The United Hatzalah crew continued CPR on the man and connected a defibrillator while the intensive care team administered medications and performed tracheal intubation. The teamwork of the two ambulance crews proved to be incredibly efficient and allowed for a smooth resuscitation process.
Seven rounds of CPR and five electric shocks later, the man’s pulse finally returned to a strong and steady rhythm. After approximately 20 minutes from when the volunteer EMTs arrived, the man regained consciousness and even started to breathe independently. Once he was stabilized, the combined team transferred him into the mobile intensive care ambulance, as per protocol, to be brought to the Rambam Medical Center for further care.
“Happy times like this successful resuscitation make me proud to be a United Hatzalah volunteer,” said Batel, “We were a great team and I learned a lot from this incident and the entire shift. I am excited to keep doing this and spending my time helping to save lives like we did tonight.”
To support the lifesaving work of United Hatzalah volunteers like Lior, Avi, Batel, and Yaniv, please click here: