Yosef Bruchim volunteers with United Hatzalah both as an EMT and as part of the Psychotrauma and Crisis Response Unit. On a recent Thursday evening, Yosef was at home in Bnei Brak eating dinner with his wife when they heard shouts coming from the sidewalk outside. People were standing in the street, shouting up to a woman who was threatening to jump out of her 5th-floor apartment window. The woman had broken the window to climb out and was sitting precariously on the ledge.
Bruchim quickly alerted United Hatzalah’s Dispatch and Command Center to the emergency as he ran across the street and up the stairs to the woman’s apartment. Together with police who had arrived at the scene, Bruchim spoke to the woman at great length, eventually convincing her to allow the police to help her back inside. An ambulance crew at the scene then transported her and her husband to the psychiatric ward of the local hospital so she could receive further care.
Yosef surveyed the scene and realized there was still more that needed to be done. The couple had 5 children, and while the three youngest were being looked after by their aunt, she wasn’t able to take the older two. The 12-year-old boy and his 10-year-old sister remained in the apartment, traumatized by what they had seen and terrified at the prospect of being alone. To make matters worse, there was no food in the house, and the apartment was in terrible disarray.
Bruchim took the hungry children for pizza and ice cream, speaking with them gently while they ate to help them cope with the trauma of what they had witnessed. The children told Yosef that they desperately wanted to see their father and find out what was happening with their mother. Bruchim drove them to the hospital and sat in the waiting room of the psychiatric ward while the children visited with their father. He then telephoned a neighbor of the family and arranged for the children to stay there until the father could return home. It was already 2 a.m., but as Bruchim drove the children back to the neighbor’s, he realized his work was not finished – the broken window still presented a danger. After dropping the children off, Yosef took some materials from his storeroom and boarded up the window, did a basic straightening of the apartment and finally returned home in the wee hours of the morning.
Bruchim went to great lengths to help this family in their moment of crisis.