On Tuesday evening, just after 7:00 p.m., a woman in her 80’s, with pre-existing medical conditions, suddenly collapsed in front of her family at their home on Henrietta Szold Street in Afula. Worried family members called emergency services for help.
United Hatzalah’s Dispatch and Command Center quickly identified the closest first responders and dispatched them to the emergency. They included Afula residents Shmuel Shaulson, who serves as the regional paramedic in the Afula and Gilboa areas, together with EMTs Yitzchak Shayov, Yossi Masas, and Yedidya Landesberg. Landesberg was the only member of the group who does not live in Afula, rather, he was doing his military reserve duty with the IDF Homefront Command, assisting a local medical center by running their Covid-19 serological testing site.
All four responders dropped what they were doing and rushed over to help save the woman’s life and they all arrived within less than three minutes from when the emergency alert was sent. Landesberg arrived and initiated CPR. Shaulson and Masas, being the highest-ranking personnel at the scene, opened an IV line and began to administer medications. Shayov prepared the oxygen and applied assisted ventilation After two minutes, Shayov and Landesberg switched positions while checking for a pulse.
The team worked together like a well-oiled machine, in spite of Landesberg not having previously known any of them. “I was working at the serological center when I received the alert and I rushed over. I was able to initiate CPR and work together with a terrific team,” Landesberg said.
Sometime later, a mobile intensive care ambulance (MICU) arrived and joined the effort. As there were a lot of first responders in the small apartment, the MICU staff asked that some of the first responders step outside. Landesberg left, Shayov, Masas, and Shaulson stayed to assist. “After an elongated CPR effort, during which it didn’t seem like the woman was going to make it, the MICU team called for a medical consult to allow them to cease CPR efforts, They received the confirmation, but just before we terminated CPR, the woman’s pulse came back. We were all relieved that we didn’t have to terminate CPR and that this woman was given another chance at life,” said Shayov.
Landesberg added, “I am thrilled that I was able to initiate CPR on the woman and help save her life. It means the world to me that I was able to do this even while I was on reserve duty. I went from helping people with serological testing to saving a life and back again. What is even more meaningful to me, is that after the long drive back to my hometown of Hashmonaim, I managed to help someone else. Just as I walked in my front door, I received an emergency alert that there had been a construction accident in the nearby town of Neriah. I ran back to my car, raced over, and was the first responder at the scene where I was able to treat an injured construction worker in a lot of pain. This is the marvel of United Hatzalah, allowing trained first responders to help those in need of emergency medical assistance, wherever they are, whenever emergencies occur. I am thankful to the entire team that I worked with in Afula, and to those who trained me and taught me how to help others.”
To support the lifesaving work of United Hatzalah volunteers such as Yedidya, Yitzchak, Yossi, and Shmuel, please click here: