On Monday afternoon, a 23-year-old construction worker was electrocuted at a construction site on Dorif Street in Ashkelon and sustained severe injuries, and lost consciousness. Worried eyewitnesses called emergency medical services for help. David and Atara Hajaj, a husband and wife, who are both United Hatzalah volunteer EMTs and live just next to the site where the incident occurred, were alerted to the emergency by United Hatzalah’s Dispatch and Command center and both immediately left their home to go and assist.
As the couple arrived at the scene they found the man laying on the ground, unconscious and without a pulse. David and Atara immediately attached a defibrillator and administered one electrical shock and provided the man with chest compressions. They continued CPR protocol, alternating between chest compressions and providing assisted ventilation until the mobile intensive care ambulance arrived sometime later. 15 minutes after Atara and David initiated CPR the man regained a pulse. The combined team stabilized him and then brought him to the ambulance to be transported to Barzilai Medical Center for further care.
After the incident ended Atara recounted: ‘’It has always been a dream of mine to become an EMT, one day I saw in the newspaper an ad that United Hatzalah was opening an EMT course in the area and I signed up immediately. I met my husband, David, during that course and we fell in love and got married not too long after we finished our training. Since then we try to respond to as many incidents as we can and save lives as much as possible. After all, we share the same values and that is part of what brought us together.’’
David added, “I became an EMT in order to know what to do when an emergency occurs. A lot of people are scared and don’t have the medical knowledge of what should be done in an emergency. I was once one of those people who witnessed a medical emergency and I wanted to be able to help and care for someone and possibly save a person’s life instead of just waiting for an ambulance to show up. Now I can and I can state that there’s nothing comparable to the feeling of saving a life. I know that Atara and I did our best to help a person in need and we hope that he will make a full recovery.’’
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