Ehud Yardeni lives in Kiryat Gat and works as a section manager at a factory that makes juices in the nearby Kibbutz with the same name, Kibbutz Gat. In addition to his regular job, Ehud volunteers as a United Hatzalah volunteer EMT and rushes out to assist in medical emergencies whenever they occur in his vicinity. In the middle of his workday on Tuesday, just after 10:00 a.m., Ehud received an alert that a little further down in the industrial quarter of the kibbutz, an Arab worker had been electrocuted and was unconscious.
Not wasting a moment, Ehud dropped what he was doing, grabbed the factory’s defibrillator and rushed over to the scene of the collapsed man. Arriving in less than two minutes, Ehud found the worker lying in a puddle of water near an electrical box with a strong smell of smoke in the air. “As the electric box had shut off due to the emergency breaker having been triggered, I pulled the worker out of the puddle of water and then quickly attached the defibrillator, which did not advise a shock, and initiated CPR.”
Performing chest compressions, Ehud instructed the other workers to bring a medical kit from their own factory. Once it was brought he told them how to connect the oxygen to the mask and place it on the patient’s face. Just then, another United Hatzalah volunteer EMT, Shalom Belchamo arrived at the scene and took over compressions as Ehud switched to ventilating the patient.
“We worked together for a few minutes, and during the entire time, the defibrillator kept instructing us to continue CPR but did not advise a shock,” Ehud recounted.
A few minutes after Shalom’s arrival, the mobile intensive care ambulance arrived and joined the effort to resuscitate the electrocuted Arab man and save his life. Finally, 20 minutes after Ehud arrived, a shock was delivered to the man from the heart monitor. A few minutes after that, the man’s pulse finally returned and he was transported to Barzilai hospital in Ashkelon while still undergoing assisted ventilation.
“This isn’t the first time that I’ve been called away from work to save someone’s life,” Ehud said. “I try not to think about the medical emergencies while I’m at work, whether they end positively like this one, or negatively. If I do think about it, I won’t be able to get any work done, so it is better to simply put it out of my mind until a later time when I can process it. In the meantime, I keep going through my day so that I can get my work done. Having said that, saving lives is an amazing thing and I am very thankful that I am a part of this organization and family.”
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