Going the Distance To Save a Life

On Wednesday morning, just after 4:00 a.m., United Hatzalah Dispatch and Command Center was notified about a serious medical emergency taking place in the southern neighborhood of Gilo in Jerusalem. An older woman has been found by her loved ones unconscious and unresponsive in her home. Dispatchers sent the notification to local EMTs in the neighborhood, but knowing that it would take the volunteers a few minutes to wake up, get dressed and rush over, they also sent three volunteers who were already awake and near the dispatch center to respond. 

UH ambucycle in Jerusalem at night (Photo credit – Shenear Mor Yosef)

Noam Yitzchak, an EMT from Ra’anana had been in Jerusalem visiting with a friend of his who was working in the dispatch at the time. EMTs Mordechai Oved and Meir Shore were also near the dispatch center, located in the Romema neighborhood when they received the alert. All three volunteers rushed out and sped across the city in emergency vehicles in order to respond. The trio arrived just a few minutes later together with an ambulance. The team rushed inside the woman’s apartment and after checking for a pulse and finding none, they began CPR. 

 

A defibrillator was attached and Noam, Mordechai, and Meir alternated performing compressions and administering assisted ventilation. The woman was in a state of asystole, with no electrical or mechanical activity taking place in her heart. For 40 minutes the EMTs continued compressions not wishing to give up the fight for the woman’s life. With hope dwindling, the team was ecstatic to finally see the woman’s pulse return after 45 minutes of intense CPR efforts. 

 

Once her pulse returned the woman was loaded onto a mobile intensive care ambulance that had arrived and transported to the hospital for continuing treatment. 

 

“The emergency was taking place on the other side of the city, but in the dead of night, it doesn’t take long to cross the city,” said Meir. “We arrived altogether and performed CPR for 45 minutes before we succeeded in bringing back her pulse. I was exhausted for a good part of the morning, but there is no feeling like bringing someone back from the brink of death and giving them a fighting chance at living again. This is what we are here for and I am very happy that I got the chance to participate in helping this woman. It is a great way to start the day.” 

To support the lifesaving work of United Hatzalah volunteers like Noam, Mordechai, and Meir, please click here:

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