On Tuesday morning, just after 10 a.m., a resident of the coastal city Ashdod in her 90’s was having trouble breathing in her home. The woman’s caretaker called emergency services to the apartment. When the ambulance crew arrived the woman suddenly collapsed and lost consciousness.
United Hatzalah volunteer EMT Beni Manela was working from home due to the Coronavirus when he received the emergency alert from his communications device to the incident that occurred just a few blocks away. The volunteer raced to the given address on his ambucycle, arriving in under three minutes.
As Beni arrived at the scene, the ambulance team was actively engaged in performing CPR on the elderly woman. Two additional United Hatzalah volunteers had already arrived ahead of Beni and the trio joined the ambulance crew in an effort to save the woman’s life. Beni performed numerous rounds of chest compressions and assisted breathing.
The 91-year-old woman’s pulse miraculously returned after 25 minutes of CPR with no shocks from the defibrillator. After the woman was in the ambulance and on her way to Assuta Hospital, Beni and the rest of the crew returned home.
Beni barely got a chance to sit down and return to work when another emergency occurred. As his communication device chimed its familiar ring, Beni jumped back on his ambucycle and rushed to the scene of the second emergency. As Beni was on the way, a different volunteer arrived at the scene just as Beni was alerted to a third emergency, this one being a motor vehicle accident at the intersection of Sderot Herzl and Yitshak HaNassi.
A biker had run a red light and entered the intersection and was struck by a car crossing during its green light from the adjacent direction. Quickly changing directions, Beni rushed over to the interchange to help with the aftermath damage of the accident.
Arriving alongside another volunteer EMT, the two helped the biker who had been thrown to the ground after the impact, sustaining severe injuries. Beni affixed a neck brace on the biker for C-spine stabilization, while the second volunteer bandaged the open wounds on the biker’s arms and legs.
After a few minutes, the mobile intensive care ambulance arrived to take the victim to the hospital and Beni returned home to begin his day of work at 12:00 p.m.
“I have been volunteering with United Hatzalah for eight years since I was just 20-years-old,” commented Beni. “Sometimes I receive multiple emergency alerts in a single day, sometimes in the span of a few hours. While it can be hard on me and my schedule I take it in stride. I enjoy the adrenaline and rush I get responding to an emergency, and honestly, that is what gives me the strength to go to work. Being given these amazing opportunities to help others, gives me the drive I need to get through my workday, and gives me a sense of purpose far beyond anything I can get professionally. I would like to recommend that anyone who is interested should go sign up for a course to become a volunteer first responder. It is a rush you will receive nowhere else, and on the way, you get to help others. ”
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