On Friday afternoon at around 12:00 p.m., at the Ar’ara BaNegev Junction, an ambulance driver from a private ambulance company called Israel’s emergency services for help. The man he was transporting, a 60-year-old man who was on dialysis, lost consciousness in mid-transport. The patient had no pulse and wasn’t breathing so the driver initiated CPR on the side of the roadway while waiting for backup to arrive.
When United Hatzalah volunteer EMT Anwar Kabaha received the notification of the emergency, he dropped everything and rushed to help. He understood the dire situation that the patient was in and that the ambulance driver would not be able to perform CPR alone for long before growing weary, so he rushed over.
“I volunteer at United Hatzalah to help others, no matter what time or place. Whenever I am asked to help, I come,” said Anwar, “So in this situation, even though it took me around eight minutes to drive to the scene, I went because I was eager to help.”
Anwar put on his vest, mask, and sterile gloves, and ran over to where the ambulance driver was performing CPR. The driver was exhausted from performing chest compressions and was relieved when Anwar finally came to the rescue. Anwar continued the resuscitation efforts and attached his defibrillator to the patient whose condition was still unchanging. He paused while the defibrillator administered an electric shock and then performed around fifteen minutes of continuous CPR together with the driver until another ambulance arrived.
The paramedics who arrived on the mobile intensive care ambulance took over for Anwar and transferred the patient into their ambulance where they attached him to a Lucas device which is used to continue the CPR compressions while en route to the hospital. Finally, the man’s pulse returned and they brought him to the nearest hospital.
After the incident, Anwar reflected on being a volunteer. “I love saving lives. After all, it is such a special thing. It’s amazing to volunteer with such an organization where volunteers from all over the country, of all ages and religions, are on call 24 hours a day and save lives together.”
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