From Pizza to Life Saving, Newly Trained Volunteer Gets Crash Course in How to Drop Everything and Run

This past Saturday night, Yechiel was enjoying pizza with a fellow volunteer when the pair received an urgent alert from United Hatzalah Command Center. A motorcyclist had collided with a car at a nearby intersection. Hearing their radios crackle, the owner of the pizza shop called to the medics “Hurry! You can worry about payment later!” The pair jumped up from the table. Gavriel Struck, Yechiel’s colleague, raced to the scene on his ambucycle, while Yechiel grabbed his gear and ran on foot to the location.


The duo found the motorcyclist and his girlfriend, next to their badly damaged vehicle. The driver had mostly escaped injury, while his passenger was left bruised and bleeding from her lacerations. The woman appeared to be badly shaken by the incident. Yechiel focused on calming and reassuring her as he treated her wounds and took a full set of vital signs. His kind presence and personal warmth made a tremendous difference for the anxious young woman.

Yechiel Grufein

Yechiel Grufein

Yechiel sat with the victim and her boyfriend, treating their shock and trauma from the incident with an extra dose of empathy and expertise. By the time the ambulance crew arrived, over 10 minutes later, the woman felt as though she had “returned to herself.” Once the couple was whisked away to the trauma center, the team of United Hatzalah volunteers returned to the pizza shop to finish up and take care of the bill!


“I was eating pizza with Gavriel and we got the call.  I’m fairly new at this and only finished my training a few months ago. This was the first time I got a call while eating, and I’ve never hesitated before and there was no reason to this time either. We left the pizza place, went to help people nearby and then came back. It was something that was kind of surreal to just drop everything and then come back and continue a regular day. But that is the life of a volunteer EMT and I enjoy every minute of it.”

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