Becoming a Lifesaving Shepherd

23-year-old Netanel Yeloz lives with his wife in a farming cooperative in Samaria called Havat Yetaidot. He and his wife care for 500 sheep together with three other families from their cooperative, which is located in the bloc of towns near Shiloh. As a person who has spent most of his life living in a rural area where ambulance response times are long, Netanel is no stranger to having to deal with medical emergencies on his own for an elongated period of time, that is why he chose to get training and become a volunteer EMT with United Hatzalah three years ago. 

Netanel with one of his flock

Netanel’s journey to becoming a trained first responder started when he was 18-years-old. “I was horseback riding with a friend of mine. I remember it was a month before my friend’s wedding. We had strapped on our saddles and double-checked everything, but something must have been off with his saddle. As I rode ahead, my friend fell behind. When I looked back for him I couldn’t see him anywhere. Suddenly, the horse turned up, without a saddle and without my friend.” 

 

Netanel rushed to the rescue. “I rode straight back on the path we had come and it took me a few minutes but I found him lying on the ground unresponsive. I didn’t know what to do. I started calling his name and slapping his face but there was no response. I called for help, but knowing that it would take a long time, I thought I had to start CPR. I didn’t know exactly what to do, but I knew the basics. It turns out I was completely wrong. My friend wasn’t unconscious because his heart stopped. He still had a pulse and was breathing but he was knocked out because he had hit his head. I was doing CPR on a man with a pulse and doing more damage than good to my friend.” 

Netanel at work

Netanel’s friend was taken to the hospital after the ambulance arrived and made it to his own wedding. “When the ambulance arrived they quickly assessed what had happened. I knew then that I had to learn emergency medicine so that in the future I would know what to do properly and how to really help.” 

 

Netanel has been volunteering as an EMT for three years and has responded to hundreds of medical emergencies and has saved dozens of lives. He was one of the first responders at the scene in Meron during the disaster this past Lag Ba’omer and attributes all of his lifesaving efforts to his desire to be there for others and help when no one else can.  

 

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