Being There To Help Before An Ambulance

United Hatzalah volunteer EMT Shir Caspi is one of the most active EMTs in her area. Shir rides an emergency E-bike in order to arrive at medical emergencies and provide assistance as fast as she can.

Shir and her e-bike

One recent evening, Shir was relaxing at home when she received an alert from United Hatzalah’s Dispatch Center alerting her to an unresponsive male victim lying on the street near her location.  Immediately, Shir ran out the door, hopped on her E-bike and raced to the given address, arriving in under 90 seconds. 

Shir found a 54-year-old man who had fallen right outside his apartment building. The man was bleeding from lacerations that he had sustained to his head. Shir, together with another volunteer who arrived on his ambucycle, helped the man into his apartment. As the EMTs were bandaging his head, the man began to cry and told them about his wife who had recently passed away. Comforting and reassuring the man, Shir and her fellow EMT remained with him until he regained his composure.

A few days later, a driver in Arad lost control of his vehicle and crashed into the median. Shir was nearby when she was alerted to the accident. She jumped on her E-bike and sped to the scene. She arrived to find the driver unsettled and in a daze. Shir spoke reassuringly to the shaken man as she checked his vitals. The driver refused to go to the hospital in an ambulance, but the concerned EMT strongly advised the man to go to the emergency room to rule out any possibility of internal injuries.

In her professional life, Shir has recently started working as a security guard at a hotel at the Dead Sea. One night, Shir was on duty at the entrance to the hotel when a car drove up and a man stumbled out. His face was covered with blood and his friends asked Shir if she could help him. Showing them her United Hatzalah ID, Shir told them she was an EMT and sat the man down so she could provide treatment. While cleaning the blood off his face, Shir discovered that the man had a deep gash across his forehead. She called the dispatch center and requested that an ambulance be sent to her location. She then bandaged the man’s head wound to stem the bleeding. The ambulance arrived 10 minutes later and evacuated the patient to Soroka Medical Center, some 75 kilometers (45 miles) away in Be’er Sheva.

“I love being able to help people and assist them with whatever is needed,” said Caspi.  “Assisting during a medical emergency when someone is at their lowest point is something that is very meaningful to me. My own grandfather had a cardiac arrest a few years ago. The ambulance took a long time in coming, and for me, waiting for the ambulance, for help to arrive, was the worst feeling. I knew at that moment that I need to learn how to help in these types of situations. Thankfully, by joining United Hatzalah, I now have the opportunity to provide help to those suffering. If I’m around, no one will have to wait for a distant ambulance to arrive to receive initial treatment. I’ll be there to help.”

 

To support the work of volunteers like Shir click here:

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Psychotrauma Training An Asset For First Responder On Medical Calls

Gil Cohen Lives in Netanya and is a United Hatzalah volunteer EMT and an experienced Psychotrauma and Crisis Response Unit responder. He finds his psychotrauma training invaluable even when responding to regular medical emergencies.

 

Psychotrauma and Crisis Response Unit members treat man after a traumatic incident. (Illustration)One recent morning at 11:00 am, Gil was alerted to an unconscious person at a cemetery. Making a mental note to the irony of the incident, Gil hopped on his ambucycle and flew over to the address. His nimble vehicle was easily able to navigate around the gravestones until Gil located the site of the incident.

 

A 60-year-old woman had collapsed onto her husband’s gravestone, having lost the will to live. The helpless family members told Gil that the woman’s husband had just passed away. Gil assessed the woman and realized that she was in an incredibly high state of emotional stress. Switching caps to a psychotrauma responder, Gil started speaking gently to the semi-conscious woman until she began to respond to him. She told him tearfully that she had already lost a daughter, and this new bereavement was just too much for her to bear. Gil listened sympathetically and provided her with soothing support. His calm, caring manner had a huge effect on the mourning woman, and she slowly began to recover. In the end, she declined ambulance transport and Gil left her with her family in a far more positive state of mind.

 

In another incident, Gil was dispatched as a psychotrauma volunteer. A 25-year-old man and his 20-year-old sister had been in the family car when they were attacked by an Arab man. The assailant forced the man out of the car, beat him and attempting to stab him. When the knife missed its mark, he grabbed the man in a chokehold, only releasing him as security forces arrived and captured him. The scene was quickly flooded by police officers, ambulance crews and United Hatzalah medics. One of the United Hatzalah medics (after bandaging the injured man’s wounds) called Gil to treat the sister. She had witnessed the entire terrifying scene and had been sure that her brother would be killed. Gil jumped on his ambucycle and sped quickly to the location. He found the young woman in the throes of an intense panic attack. Gil used his psychotrauma training to gently guide her back to reality, assuring her that the danger was over, that she and her brother were safe, and that he was there to help her. His professional intervention made an enormous difference and succeeded in calming the petrified survivor. Within a few minutes, she started responding normally to her surroundings and worried family members.

 

“My psychotrauma training has helped me in many different ways,” said Gill. “Whether it is in my personal life or when working with the people who need us in the field, both for medical calls and psychotrauma calls,  the training has helped me see emergency situations in a different light. I now not only search a scene for those physically injured but I look around to see who was emotionally affected by the incident and once the medical side is done I treat them as well. You learn how to listen to others and identify with them while at the same time reassuring them that they are now safe and that the danger has passed.” 

 

Gil spoke about the internal network of support that exists in United Hatzalah for the first responders after they respond to a traumatic incident, “Our resiliency comes from our unity. The fact that people in the organization are tasked with calling up the EMS and Psychotrauma volunteers and checking in with them after every traumatic call is incredibly helpful. These regional representatives of the psychotrauma unit debrief the volunteer who responded make sure that we didn’t take anything to much to heart. They work with us through the traumatic scenes that we witnessed or were exposed to and they manage to take from us a heavy part of the emotional burden that comes with being a first responder.“

 

Research shows that interventions such as these can be critical in helping survivors in the aftermath of a traumatic incident, mitigating acute stress and protecting against the overall mental health of the patient and the first responder. 

 

To support the work of United Hatzalah’s Psychotrauma and Crisis Response Unit please click here:

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Giving the Gift That Keeps on Giving

Amir Hayek, is an I.T. specialist, a volunteer in a French Christian religious hospice called The Sacred Heart, or Sacre Coeur, and a United Hatzalah volunteer EMT and ambucycle driver. Hayek, an Israeli Christian, chose to volunteer at the convent for the same reason he volunteers for United Hatzalah- he loves to help people. Both the convent and United Hatzlaha treat Muslim, Christian and Jewish people. The convent treats children with severe handicaps and United Hatzalah treats people suffering medical emergencies before an ambulance can arrive. 

Amir Hayik’s Bike at the Sacre Coeur Institute

One day, Amir was at work when he received an alert to an unconscious child at the hospice. Amir’s workplace is very near to Sacre Coeur and Amir immediately dashed outside, jumped on his ambucycle, and sped over. Already familiar with the facility, Amir drove his ambucycle through the complex and was urgently directed to one of the physiotherapy rooms.

 

A physiotherapist was frantically performing compressions on a 13-year-old boy. Amir swiftly took over, administering expert chest compressions as another United Hatzalah EMT arrived to assist. The duo performed CPR until an ambulance crew joined the rescue effort. An IV line was set up and cardiac drugs provided. After 40 minutes of combined toil, the team succeeded in regaining cardiac activity, stable blood pressure, and independent breathing. Amir assisted in transferring the young patient onto a stretcher and he was rushed urgently to the hospital for further treatment.

 

“For me, being able to help this child was a great relief,” said Hayek. “I know him personally and I’ve played with him many times in the past. When I was called to do CPR at the hospice and I saw who I would be doing it on, I put all emotions aside and focused on the timing, consistency and depth of the compressions. I wanted it to be perfect in order to give him the best chances of survival possible.” 

 

Hayek continued his recounting of the dramatic incident. “I almost lost hope 35 minutes through the process as we were having a difficult time getting the boy’s pulse back. When the paramedic finally managed to open a vein and administer medication, it gave me hope and I felt excitement and energy that helped me focus and push onwards. Ten minutes after we administered the medication the boy’s heart began to beat once more. It was a tremendous relief for me. I, together with the paramedics, staff and volunteers who work at that hospice, consider the children as a part of our own family. I did everything I could that day to make sure that I didn’t lose one of my brothers.” 

 

Hayek concluded by saying, “It is times like these that I recognize just how grateful I am to be part of United Hatzalah. Being a part of the organization gives me the opportunity to help others in situations that I never even dreamed of. Helping another person, being a part of a team that saves a life is a gift that I can give to others which in turn they keep on passing as long as they live.” 

 

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Training Foreign Workers To Be Initial Responders During Medical Emergencies

A new project has been created by United Hatzalah, together with Hakeren, the Israel Foreign Workers Fund, that will significantly contribute to saving more lives. The project aims to train foreign workers located in Israel who work in the field of geriatric and home care, to provide immediate first aid treatment to the people they care for should a medical emergency occur. A second aspect of the training course, which began on Sunday in Tel Aviv, teaches the workers, many of whom don’t speak Hebrew, how to speak to medical or emergency dispatchers to effectively communicate the critical information on the phone.

The first training session in Tel Aviv

President of United Hatzalah Eli Beer spoke about the reason behind the new project. “This is a group of people whose job definition is to be near sick and elderly people. The segment of the population that requires their services are those who have a high risk of having a medical emergency requiring first aid quickly. We are providing the participants with basic emergency medical training so that they will know what to do if an emergency does in fact occur.”

Rag Wittlefora, a foreign worker from India who participated in the program said: “I think that this course is something that all foreign workers who work with geriatric or ill people should take. We work with people’s fathers and mothers. Our employers are often people who live in various states of medical wellness and sometimes they suffer life-threatening episodes. The information we learned here is very practical and now we know what to do to save a life.”

Beer added that the course has a special focus on how to relay the pertinent information to emergency dispatchers as fast as possible. “We have noticed that in many cases, the language barrier of foreign workers impedes the transfer of information to emergency dispatchers. Sometimes the worker has trouble understanding the instructions given by the dispatcher, and in other cases, incorrect information has been given to the dispatcher. As part of the course, the foreign workers are being taught a few key points to remember when talking to dispatchers, and not just Israeli dispatchers, but dispatchers anywhere in the world. The foreign worker is thereby being given helpful information and skills that will be useful in Israel as well as in the rest of the world.”

Beer concluded and said: “We see the job of lifesaving as being relevant to everyone and we are working to train as many people as possible.”

Yossi Koren, Director of Development of HaKeren explained: “These courses are a social initiative of the highest order. They give both the families of those being cared for as well as the employers of foreign workers a sense of security in knowing that the workers will now have the tools to assist in an emergency situation. This course also enables those workers who come from countries that don’t offer the training and makes sure that they are at the same level of ability to handle an emergency situation as those who come with basic CPR and first aid training. Each of the workers receives a basic CPR and first aid certificate that is recognized all over the world. Therefore, even workers whose time in Israel is over will leave with the skills they need to help wherever they go in their next job.”

To support this project as well as many others by United Hatzalah please click here:

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Daughter’s Rescue Leads A Father To Become An EMT

Two years ago, Hila Zohar, aged 17 at the time, fell off of the roof of her home in Or Yehuda after she suffered a seizure. The fall, more than 8 meters, caused a serious head injury, massive bleeding and complete loss of consciousness. United Hatzalah volunteer EMT Avi Yosefov, who lives in the same neighborhood, received the emergency alert, rushed over to the scene and arrived in less than a minute. Yosefov treated her for her injuries and his near-immediate response and treatment saved her life.

(Yaakov Zohar, Hila Zohar and Avi Yosefov (left to right) at the graduation on Tuesday) 
(Photo Credit: Oren Cohen)

Hilah’s father, Yaakov Zohar, witnessed the terrible incident and saw how fast Avi arrived and treated his daughter. At that very moment, Yaakov decided that he too would become a volunteer EMT.  On Tuesday night, Yaakov, together with 15 other new EMTs graduated their training course and became United Hatzalah volunteers.

“I recall very clearly how Avi arrived with incredible speed and fought hard to save my daughter’s life,” recounted Yaakov. “Hila was brought to Tel HaShomer Hospital and was in the intensive care unit for two weeks. After that, she underwent months of arduous rehabilitation. When she had recovered enough and was finally out of danger, I slowly began to understand what exactly had happened and  the desire to become a part of United Hatzalah awoke inside me.”

Yaakov, an electrician by profession, underwent the admissions process to participate in a training course and two days ago, came full circle by graduating the course with honors. He will now join the team of volunteers serving the area of Bika’at Ono under the guidance of Yuval Shlafman, United Hatzalah’s Chapter Head of the region. Shlafman, upon presenting Yaakov with the award of excellence in the course said: “I believe that Yaakov’s personal story will push him to become an excellent EMT with a high level of motivation that will help him continually assist others in their times of need.”

Avi Yosefov attended the graduation in order to honor Yaakov’s accomplishment and recall the traumatic incident that brought them together. “We are neighbors and live right down the street from one another. However, until the incident with Hila, we did not know each other very well, just enough to say hello when passing in the street. When the incident occurred, I was at home. When I saw the address of the call I knew that it was my neighbor. I raced outside, ran down the street, and in just a few seconds I was treating Hila. After everything calmed down, we stayed in touch and about a year-and-a-half ago, Yaakov told me that he too wanted to volunteer for the organization. Watching him graduate today with honors brought me a lot of joy.”

Hila is now 19-years-old and healthy. “First of all, I want to thank United Hatzalah and Avi, for without them, I wouldn’t be alive today. I am also very proud of my father who has decided to volunteer and become a part of the organization so that he can now save others just as I was saved.”

To support the work of volunteers such as Avi and Yaakov please click here:

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A Kindergarten Rescue – All In a Day’s Work

Hilah Reinkoff is a supervisor of early education and is in charge of overseeing the educational quality and content. She also supervises over the daily operations of a series of daycares in the around Kiryat Gat. In addition to her regular job, she is a volunteer EMT with United Hatzalah.

 

Last Sunday, Reinkoff was finishing a meeting in one of the daycares that she manages when she was alerted to an emergency at the daycare involving one of the children. A young girl, aged 4, had gotten her head stuck between two metal bars in a fence that separates one of the daycares from another. 

Hila helping the young girl

“This is the third or fourth time that I have been called to an emergency in one of the daycares in the last year,” said Reinkoff. “The staff all know me and they feel more secure in knowing that I have the training and equipment needed to assist when a medical emergency occurs.” 

 

Reinkoff rushed over to the back of the playground, where the girl had gotten stuck. She calmed the girl down and checked to make sure that she wasn’t injured. She called the Fire Department who dispatched a squad, but before they arrived, Yanki Weinberg, the chapter head of United Hatzalah in the region arrived with another volunteer EMT from the organization. The duo applied a lubricant to the bars and then pulled on them in opposite directions while Reinkoff assisted the girl in passing fully through the bars where her head had gotten stuck. 

 

Reinkoff recounted, “The situation was a bit nerve-wracking, but keeping a cool head when these things happen helps the child stay calm as well as the other children nearby. Thank God the situation wasn’t anything more serious and the girl managed to make it through the bars without being injured in any way. We were able to cancel the Fire Department and keep on going with the daily schedule of the daycare. We alerted the parents to what happened and were able to reassure them that everything was alright.”

 

For Reinkoff the territory is not new. “We’ve had numerous emergencies over the years. One time a teacher fainted, another time a student had an allergic reaction and there have also been plenty of other instances where my skills have proven useful. It is a good feeling to have the training and equipment needed to treat people on my own staff or the children in the daycare. It is one of the reasons that I took the EMT training course and became a volunteer. It helps the people in my work and helps with my own family as well. I have been in the field of early childhood education for many years and I have been a mother for many years. The training I received still gives me more confidence to act when needed in order to help someone.” 

 

For Reinkoff, the idea of family is an important one and she feels that her family has extended beyond her spouse and children and now encompasses all of United Hatzalah. “The organization is a big family and we really look out for one another. I look at this work, of rushing out to help others, as holy work. When I see others who volunteer for the organization and thereby aspire to the same ethos, I feel connected to them, even if we have never met. People who drop whatever they are doing to go out and save others are truly special people and United Hatzalah is made up of a large family of these people. I am proud to be one of them.”

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Getting Off a Bus To Save A Life

Monday started out as a regular morning for Avi Vilman, a United Hatzalah volunteer EMT from Bnei Brak. He got up, went about his normal morning routine and headed out to morning prayers at sunrise. When he finished his prayers, he got on a bus to go to work at the Fire Commissioner’s Office where he serves as the National Rabbinical Coordinator for the Fire Department of Israel. 

Avi Vilman

While on the bus, Vilman received an alert from his United Hatzalah communication device alerting him to a medical emergency nearby. A woman was suffering from cardiac arrest. Without immediate intervention, she would die. VIlman alerted the bus driver who stopped the bus at the next corner and let Vilman off. Vilman raced over to the address and rushed up to her apartment. Being the first responder at the scene, he initiated chest compressions and continued until other EMS responders arrived. After a few long minutes, an ambucycle rider from United Hatzalah arrived and joined Vilman’s effort to save the woman’s life. 

Shortly thereafter an ambulance from the organization also arrived and the ambulance team joined the efforts. The team worked in complete synchronization and used every tool at their disposal to save the older woman’s life. Almost 15 minutes went by before a mobile ICU ambulance arrived. The team of advanced responders took over and relieved Vilman and the other responder. Vilman, exhausted, walked outside together with the others knowing that they did everything they could to try to save the woman. With one good deed turning into another, the ambulance driver offered to give Vilman a ride the rest of his way to his office so that he wouldn’t be too late to begin his day. 

Each volunteer has their reasons for why they want to save lives. Vilman’s personal experiences are the source of his motivation to help others in need.  He reveals, “I joined United Hatzalah after my own grandfather suffered a heart attack. He was a cardiac patient for many years and when he had an attack I felt helpless. I never wanted to feel that way again. Unfortunately, when I was 14, I witnessed an act of violence in which one man stabbed another and I didn’t know how to help. The stabbing victim died. Those two occurrences cemented for me, the will to become an EMT and first responder. Now, when an emergency occurs, I know what to do and I do everything in my power to help.” 

 

To support the work of United Hatzalah volunteers such as Avi please click here:

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United Hatzalah Holds Mass-Casualty-Incident Training Drill in Conjunction With Israeli police, Jerusalem Soccer Team

(This article was originally written by Eliana Rudee and published on the JNS website🙂

In conjunction with the Israeli police and the Beitar Yerushalayim soccer team, United Hatzalah hosted a large-scale training drill on Monday at Teddy Stadium to simulate a mass-casualty incident in the stadium and the proper treatment of multiple victims at the same time in numerous locations.

As the official medical-security provider for the team and Israel’s largest independent, nonprofit, fully volunteer Emergency Medical Service (EMS) organization, United Hatzalah is responsible for treating any medical incident of the fans or players occurring during the soccer matches in the stadium.

“Should a person suffering a medical emergency require medical transport to the hospital, our ambulance teams are standing by at each game to transport [him or her] to the hospital. As always, our services are provided to the patients completely free of charge,” said Raphael Poch, international spokesperson for United Hatzalah.

The exercise was meant to test the ability, technology, professionalism and quality of care that the organization can provide in a worst-case disaster scenario.

United Hatzalah emergency personnel treating a patient at a mass-casualty simulation at Jerusalem’s Teddy Stadium. Photo by Eliana Rudee.

United Hatzalah hosts regular such drills around the country, as well as outside of Israel, including scenarios such as terror attacks, fires in large buildings, natural disasters and motor-vehicle accidents involving numerous injuries.

For the drill, first responders from Jerusalem, Gush Etzion, Beit Shemesh and Mevaseret Tzion were asked to participate, with ambulances arriving from all across the country. “We had a strong representation of Muslims from the eastern Jerusalem and Mevaseret Tzion chapters, as well as secular and religious Jews from all over the greater Jerusalem area,” Poch told JNS.

United Hatzalah emergency personnel treating a patient at a mass-casualty simulation at Jerusalem’s Teddy Stadium. Photo by Eliana Rudee

The drill began with a briefing of commanders, EMS personnel and police, as well as those acting as injured and bystanders. The police initiated the drill, and an explosion took place simulating a bombing, with a simulated terrorist running in pretending to shoot numerous people and another pretending to stab others. Security forces moved in and neutralized the threats while medical teams were then allowed to enter in order to treat the injured. Ambulance teams and first responders rushed to the scene, and began extracting people from the stands where the simulated attack took place.

The first responder who arrived at the scene triaged patients, “tagging” those injured with large identification markers that list five different levels of medical status so when other responders come, they know how urgently to treat a patient.

First responders brought those injured to a designated triage and first-aid treatment area. Those suffering from shock received care from the psychotrauma unit; those injured to varying degrees were treated by EMT and paramedics. Once ambulances arrived, they took the most seriously injured people into the vehicles, who in a real incident would be transported to hospitals.

A member of the Psychotrauma and Crisis Response Team “treating” a fellow first responder during the drill

Those who were “killed” in the drill were brought to a special area where they were identified by police. Security forces also searched the area for other dangers or possible explosives. A grenade was found in the triage area that was undetonated, and a sapper had to come and neutralize it before patient transport and triage could continue.

‘Order among chaos’

Mordecai Holtz, director of global brand management for United Hatzalah, participated in the drill two months after finishing his first-responder exam. Volunteering for a live-saving organization, he told JNS, “is important and exciting.”

It “takes a serious amount of responsibility for the purposes of knowing at all times you’re ‘on’ as one of the people responsible for saving a person’s life or helping them through a tragic situation,” he said.

Holtz (center) “treating” a volunteer with simulated injuries together with an ambulance team during the drill.

“This drill is important to [learn] how to handle mass casualty incidents, which are unfortunately common in Israel;  as medics and first responders we need to know how to deal with this,” he added. “These scenarios are critical and can determine if they know how to deal with pressure, working together in teams and in a scenario full of casualties.”

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Jewish Music Stars Help Raise More Than $1,000,000 In Support of United Hatzalah at Annual Benefit Concert

Three Jewish Music superstars, Avraham Fried, Mordechai Shapiro, and Simcha Leiner wowed the gathered crowd of more than 3,000 people at the annual United Hatzalah benefit concert that took place in Jerusalem’s Binyanei Ha’Uma International Convention Center on Thursday night. The trio sang some of their greatest hits as well as some new songs which were very well received by the audience, all of whom came out to support the organization and its lifesaving work.

From left – Simcha Leiner, Avraham Fried and Mordechai Shapiro share the stage together during the concert

Simcha Leiner opened the evening by singing some of his greatest hits. He performed once before at a United Hatzalah concert many years ago. Before the show, he spoke about why doing this show was so important to him. “I’ve been friends with United Hatzalah President and Founder Eli Beer for many years now and we met and spent Shabbat together a few times throughout the year and have been discussing my participation in the concert. We work well together and I believe strongly in the work that United Hatzalah does so I was happy to get the chance to perform here tonight.”

Eli Beer on stage together with three EMTs and the boy whose life they saved and the boy’s mother

Leiner continued: “The concert is an amazing way to bring together huge amounts of people to support the lifesaving work of United Hatzalah. I feel that United Hatzalah makes each person in Israel feel like there is someone looking out for them and watching their back. God forbid if anything should ever happen, within 90 seconds that person will have a friend, a partner, a sibling there to help them. What makes it more impressive is that you never know who it will be. It might be a friend, a neighbor, or someone you’ve never met, but you know that someone is out there watching your back. I think that encapsulates United Hatzalah better than anything else.”

The sold out crowd

Mordechai Shapiro followed Leiner on stage and had the crowd jumping in their seats. Shapiro is a return performer from last year’s concert and added to Leiner’s sentiments about why he feels it is important to perform at tonight’s concert. “To be invited back to any show is always a tremendous compliment,” said Shapiro. “It is the biggest compliment that one can get as a singer, especially as organizations always want to switch it up and get new faces.  I’m sharing the stage with two greats in Avraham Fried and Simcha Leiner so that is also exciting. Singing to help save lives, what could be better than that.” Shapiro placed such an importance on performing at this concert that he was willing to make a special trip just to be a part of it.

He came to Israel for less than 10 hours, just enough time to land, refresh, and perform. Shapiro sang a number of songs from his new album “Hakol MiShamayim” much to the crowd’s pleasure.

 

Headliner Avraham Fried is also no stranger to performing at United Hatzalah annual Sukkot Concert. Fried has performed at more of the 19 concerts that the organization has hosted, than any other performer in Jewish music. Fried said just prior to the show: “I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve performed for United Hatzalah already. I love Eli Beer. He’s one of my heroes. When he calls, I jump. It’s certainly great to be invited back here and I hope that United Hatzalah has a wonderful success tonight, especially financially because that is what is needed to save many lives. May this be a year of joy for everyone in Am Yisroel.”

 

The evening was a smashing success with tickets being sold out well in advance of the performance and potential audience members coming to the door trying to get in. The event raised more than $1,000,000. During the evening President and Founder of United Hatzalah Eli Beer made a special onstage plea, to the gathered crowd and asked for donations specifically geared towards EpiPen auto-injection devices. In response, the audience donated more than 500 sets of the medical devices that can be the lifesaving tool that makes the difference when an EMT comes face-to-face with a medical emergency involving a strong allergic reaction.

 

“There is a reason why United Hatzalah in Israel is so successful. Because of this concert every year, we are able to equip our volunteers with the proper equipment,” said Eli Beer. “I want to thank all of the supporters and sponsors who helped make this night a reality but especially I want to thank the women who support their husbands, brothers, sons, and fathers who are volunteers, but even more so, the women who themselves are volunteers of the organization and who make the sacrifice to go out and save lives every day. You, together with the donors who are here tonight, are what makes United Hatzalah function.”

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EMTs Perform Successful CPR On Woman 39 Weeks Pregnant – Save Mom And Baby

On Motzei Shabbat before Rosh Hashanah, United Hatzalah volunteer EMTs Aharon Avital, Tomer Tzenani, Yossi Cohen, Naftali Friedman, Adi Avivi, and Lior Filshteiner were summoned to the home of Yaron and Limor Golan in Hod Hasharon. Limor had just suffered a heart attack. To complicate matters more, Limor was 39 weeks pregnant when the heart attack occurred.

Photo: (From left to right) – Aharon Avital, Tomer Tzinani, Yossi Cohen, Yaron Golan, Limor Golan, Adi Avivi, LIor Filshteiner, and Naftali Friedman – During the hospital visit. – With family’s permission

“I was sitting in the living room watching TV when I heard a noise in the bedroom,” Yaron recounted. “I saw Limor on the floor and I rushed over to her and tried to wake her up. She didn’t respond. I called a neighbor for help. He began performing CPR on her. I didn’t know what to do so I called the emergency number for an ambulance.”

Aharon Avital, head of the Hod Hasharon team for United Hatzalah together with EMT Yossi Cohen were the first responders at the scene. The pair arrived in less than three minutes and immediately took over CPR from the neighbor. Aharon and Yossi attached a defibrillator and administered an electric shock. The duo spared no resource in their efforts to save the life of the young mother and that of her unborn baby. Moments later they were joined by 4 other volunteer EMTs from their local team who joined their efforts.

A mobile intensive care ambulance arrived sometime later and after more than 30 minutes of active CPR, the combined team managed to restore a steady pulse. Limor even started breathing again independently. She was rushed to the maternity ward at Meir Medical Center for an emergency C-section, which was successful in saving her child’s life. Limor was then treated in the hospital for her heart attack and later regained consciousness in the hospital and awoke to meet her healthy little boy, the couple’s first.

This past Friday, the United Hatzalah volunteers were invited by Yaron to reconnect with the family in the hospital. During the meeting, Yaron and Limor shared their profound gratitude with the team of first responders and thanked them for their quick arrival and lifesaving intervention.

Yaron thanked the volunteers for saving the lives of his wife and son. “You saved my wife’s life and my son’s and in truth mine as well as I’m not sure I would have survived this had they both died. You arrived so quickly and treated my wife with expertise, commitment and caring that I have no words to thank you. You’ve literally saved us. I now know that I have to do a CPR course. Every family should do this. It is imperative. I was upset at myself that I didn’t know what to do when my wife collapsed. You people, who don’t know me and don’t know my wife came to save her life. You volunteered their time. I too will now volunteer to go out and help others. I am committed to this and it will happen.”

“This was the most moving CPR I have ever done,” said Aharon, who has performed dozens of emergency CPRs during his years volunteering as an EMT.  “As I ran into the house I saw what tragedy could befall the family if Limor wasn’t saved. Limor who was unconscious, the baby who was about to be born, and Yaron whose life was literally crashing down around him in a moment. I knew that we needed to save Limor and prevent this tragedy from occurring.”

Aharon added: “When Limor woke up on Monday, two days after the incident, Yaron called me and asked if I could come with the team who saved her to visit them and meet the new baby. I gathered the crew of volunteers and we ended up coming in to visit them a bit later in the week so as to give Limor time to heal after her ordeal and surgery. We spent some time with them and I was pleased to see that everyone was recovering. I have never seen a miracle quite like this.”

Limor and her son, being fully recovered, were released from the hospital before Yom Kippur.

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