Beer Sheva resident Guy Yekutiel lost his brother four years ago in a tragic accident. Following the trauma of losing his beloved brother, Yekutiel began to volunteer as an emergency medical technician (EMT) with United Hatzalah in his hometown as well as in the rest of the northern Negev. Yekutiel explained that he is volunteering to honor the memory of his brother Omer, who was just 21 years old when he died. Omer had headed out to a pub to celebrate with his friends after being accepted to Sami Shamoon College of Engineering.
In spite of the joyous occasion that evening, Omer’s hopes were never fulfilled. “He was just ordering the drinks when all of a sudden, his friends heard a boom and then saw Omer collapsed on the floor. Those nearby called for emergency services to come and it took the first responders a number of long minutes to reach Omer,” Guy recounted.
During the wait, his friends rushed to help him. “No one in the pub knew what to do. Later, Omer was transported in an ambulance to Soroka hospital with what we found out later was a sudden cardiac arrest. When the ambulance arrived at the hospital it was too late for my brother.”
Guy said that after the family got up from sitting shiva (the traditional Jewish mourning period), he began to investigate what had happened as he hadn’t been present during the incident. “I found out that two EMTs arrived at the pub that night to help my brother and that they had received the information from the national ambulance service dispatch. They disregarded all of the telling signs that should have alerted them to my brother having a heart attack, and instead chose to transport him to the hospital without providing any initial treatment (according to the findings of the investigation conducted by the Health Ministry) that could have saved Omer’s life.”
When I found this our, I learned that anyone could have saved my brother’s life and prevented this crushing tragedy from affecting my family. If there had been someone who knew what they were doing at the scene, my brother might still have been with us,” Guy said.
In order to make sure that this didn’t happen to others, I began to investigate how I could get involved in emergency medical services, and I found United Hatzalah. Sometime later I took a course with the organization and now I have joined the network of lifesaving volunteers who receive the highest level of training and equipment from the organization enabling us to save lives. I serve the people in my community in Beer Sheva and assist anyone in my surroundings who is having a medical emergency.”
Guy works as part of the Ministry of Interior in the Negev and rushes out every day to save lives and provide medical care to those in need, all in an effort to prevent other families from going through the tragedy that he and his family experienced first hand.
“United Hatzalah gives me all the tools I need to save the lives of others and prevent similar things from happening to other families. I think that getting trained to be an EMT is something that every person should do and I invite the entire populace of Israel to undergo basic medical training so that they will know how to properly treat medical emergencies when they come across them. Even a basic course of four hours can help people provide the first response when confronting an emergency. It isn’t a big undertaking and it can save a life and the life of a family like mine.”