Dealing With The Aftermath Of An Emergency

On Wednesday morning just after 3:00 a.m., United Hatzalah volunteer EMT Hanoch Re’em, a resident of Jerusalem’s Neve Yaakov neighborhood, was returning home from a night shift when he heard his communications device buzzing. A medical emergency had occurred a couple of blocks away from his home. Hanoch jumped out of bed and raced over to the given location. 

Scene of the apartment

Upon arrival, Hanoch was met by his fellow volunteers Moishy Hirshman and Michael. The location they received from dispatch led them to an office building and was clearly incorrect. Due to the early hour, the team had limited resources and were struggling to locate the real address. The trio of EMTs were notified that the incident was an injury, and the victim was unconscious. Thus, every second counted. The EMTs knew they had to work together to locate the victim. The dispatcher helped the team search the street until they found the correct apartment building.

The EMTs entered an apartment and were caught off guard by the amount of blood that was spread all over the floor. They found an 89-year-old man sitting on the floor of his bathroom with a bloody leg. While the EMTs were taking an oral history of the man’s medical background, he explained that he suffers from a condition of weak veins and that his vein had burst due to this condition. The man was conscious, but losing a lot of blood, and quickly. The team bandaged the man’s leg carefully and stopped the bleeding while waiting for the ambulance to arrive. They then proceeded to assist the man in going downstairs to wait for the ambulance. Once the ambulance arrived the man was transported to the nearest hospital.

But the volunteers felt that their job wasn’t done yet. Before leaving the scene, Hanoch realized that the man’s 90-year-old wife was left with a bloody floor and messy apartment. She is disabled and uses a walker to get around the apartment. The EMTs knew they couldn’t leave her alone to clean up the horrifying mess, and so despite the hour, the three volunteers stayed and cleaned the entire apartment. 

“It was not simple cleaning another man’s blood off of the floor,” Michael said. “We made sure to clean every bit with chemicals and warm water so the woman won’t have to be reminded in the morning of the horrible site. We all agreed to do this together and it was inspiring to see the difference that this small act of kindness made for the man and his wife. It was the right thing to do, and I feel honored to be a part of a team that cares so much about others that even at 4 in the morning they take the time to do an act of kindness for another person, whom they don’t even know.”

The apartment after it was cleaned

Hanoch added, “As an EMT, I feel like my job does not consist only of medical aid, but also helping the family and anyone else involved with the person I was called to help. It felt obvious that after the man was transported that we stay and help clean the apartment because the aftermath of the emergency that needs attention is no less important than the emergency itself.”

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