On Tuesday night, just after 8 p.m., United Hatzalah volunteer EMT Yishai Salomon was in his home winding down after a long day at work when suddenly his communication device began to ring, alerting him to a nearby emergency. The location of the emergency, according to the communique he received from dispatch, was in San Simon park in Jerusalem, just a block away from Yishai’s house.
After throwing on his helmet and grabbing his medic bag and vest, Yishai hopped onto his ambucycle and rushed to the nearby park. Arriving at the edge of the park in a matter of seconds, Yishai began circling the park grounds on his ambucycle in search of the victim, as he did not have an exact location of where inside the park the emergency had taken place.
After a few minutes, Yishai quickly spotted a mobile intensive care ambulance parked on the opposite edge of the park, unable to enter the grounds. He saw a paramedic running out of the vehicle. The paramedic spotted Yishai as well, and knowing that Yishai’s ambucycle was fully equipped and that he, the paramedic was empty-handed, the paramedic motioned to Yishai that he should follow him with his ambucycle.
The paramedic led Yishai inside the park where the pair of first responders found a 45-year-old father lying unconscious on the ground with his frantic children by his side. The children were attempting to revive him. The paramedic quickly took over and began chest compressions as Yishai pulled his defibrillator out of his medic bag.
The defibrillator was attached and a shock was administered. After the shock was given, the pair continued CPR as additional first responders began to arrive, including the rest of the ambulance team who were carrying the paramedic’s equipment. Yishai continued assisting in chest compressions and then assisted ventilation as the paramedic administered medication.
After approximately five minutes, the team of EMS responders was able to bring back the man’s pulse and stabilize his condition. Yishai then helped transfer the man to the ambulance that had parked outside the park grounds. After making sure that the recovering father was secure and on his way to the hospital, Yishai returned to check on the man’s children.
The patient’s children explained to Yishai that they had just gone for a nighttime walk in the park when their father suddenly collapsed. They were frightened as they had been unable to revive him. Yishai calmly explained that their father was in good hands, and asked to call the children’s mother. After comforting the children and notifying their mother of the emergency, Yishai stayed with the kids until their mother arrived and the family headed to the hospital.
“I have been volunteering as an EMT with United Hatzalah for the past six years, and in spite of the many emergencies I respond to, whenever there is a successful CPR, I always get excited,” said Yishai. “There were a lot of factors in this story that allowed the CPR to be successful. If the paramedic and I had not acknowledged each other, the paramedic may have wasted precious time bringing his equipment, and if I had arrived alone, I would have begun chest compressions, and the defibrillator would only be attached later. In the end, I helped save a life that night, and that’s what counts most.”
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