United Hatzalah volunteer EMTs use a variety of vehicles to arrive at medical emergencies in the shortest time possible. Among these vehicles are ambucycles (motorcycles with medical gear that an ambulance has on it in a box on the back,) ATVs, boats, jet skis, ambulances, mini-ambulances, Ezridrs, and electric bicycles. Volunteer EMT and Kiryat Gat resident Yehuda Wertheimer is one of the organization’s electric bicycle riders. He is an extremely dedicated volunteer and responds to emergencies on a daily basis.
Yehuda just a few weeks ago received a donated electric bicycle that he now rides around the city saving lives. When asked what he felt about responding on an e-bike he said: “To be honest, I wasn’t sure how much use the e-bike would get. I live in Kiryat Gat, not Jerusalem or Tel Aviv. There is afar less traffic here, and I thought I’d only be using the bicycle in rush-hour and peak times. But I can already see that I was mistaken. Although I’ve only had the bike for less than two weeks, I’ve used it a lot. It has already proven itself to be an incredible resource. It allows me to access so many areas – pedestrianized zones, narrow pathways, building complexes. It has already helped me out in numerous situations and I know that it is going to be a tremendous help in saving lives.”
Last week, Yehuda responded to a call at a local childcare facility when a small child suffered a brief convulsion. Arriving first at the scene on his e-bike, Yehuda found the two-year-old child limp and apathetic. Yehuda checked the little boy’s vital signs and monitored his condition as it began to improve. The child’s father arrived and brought the little boy to the doctor, who confirmed that the child’s fever was the probable cause of the febrile convulsions.
In another incident that Yehuda responded to last week, a road accident had occurred. An 8-year-old boy was struck by a passing car. Yehuda arrived swiftly at the scene ad began to treat the young boy who was bleeding from facial wounds and very agitated (as were his distraught parents). Yehuda calmed everyone down as he gently cleansed the injury site and applied trauma bandages. After the young victim had been treated, the caring medic turned to the car driver, who was very distressed in the aftermath of the sudden crash. Yehuda spoke to the driver and reassured him that the boy would recover.
This past Monday, a 71-year-old woman was on a bus when she suddenly experienced a severe panic attack and began screaming. The bus driver pulled over to the side and concerned passengers helped her off the bus as they called emergency services for help. Yehuda was nearby at the time and immediately raced over on his e-bike and yet again arrived first at the scene. He discovered the woman trembling violently and utterly hysterical. Yehuda spoke to her gently, but the woman continued crying out, calling for her husband and hyperventilating madly. Yehuda stayed with her, talking to her soothingly all the while providing a calm, professional and reassuring presence.
“We called her husband and he came running over. He’s also 71,” related Yehuda. “Only he was able to really soothe her. It was heartwarming to see them together. I don’t know why she had such an intense anxiety attack but I am very glad that I was there for her. Thanks to my e-bike I was able to arrive quickly and help ease her suffering.”
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