Every night throughout Hanukkah, United Hatzalah will be awarding one highly dedicated volunteer with the annual Korenvaes Miracle Award. Tonight’s recipient, on the fourth night of Hanukkah, is Shaun Shlomo Spruch from Mitzpe Netofa.
Shaun Shlomo Spruch lives in Mitzpe Netofa with his family. He made Aliyah from Johannesburg in 2015 and moved quickly to the Galilee. Before he made aliyah he worked in Hatzalah in Johannesburg as the operations manager and medical manager. He was part of the first team of Hatzalah in Johannesburg back in 1998. In 2009 he took a paramedic course in 2009 and then took over as the medical manager for Hatzalah Johannesburg. He studied criminology and psychology in college and graduated with a MA.
Shaun was always passionate about EMS and upon finishing college he worked in computers. “When I finished school a friend of mine approached me to take a basic EMT course and that is when they wanted to start Hatzalah so I joined. In 2004 I approached them and asked if could join full-time and take over the operations for the organization. I’ve had a long history with Hatzalah in South Africa.”
Shaun continued: “When I made Aliyah, it was just the logical thing for me to join United Hatzalah here. I originally wanted to work in the medical field, worked for a bit in Terem, and then moved to the IT field as it paid more. So now I run my own business and respond to emergencies whenever they happen in the area, but I feel that I am far more useful in my other role with United Hatzalah which is an EMT training instructor.”
Shaun is one of the major course instructors in the northern region for United Hatzalah. He handles all of the training courses for EMTs and other medical training and re-training courses throughout the eastern Galilee region. “Whenever there is a course that is needed, I get called, and I love to get involved. I recently taught a course in Tevaria and in Misgav. I teach everything from the basic theoretical introduction of volunteers in the field to full EMT classes and retraining courses. In Tevaria, we’re looking to do more practical refresher training once a week with the team there to go over specific concepts in-depth and help make the volunteers in the field more efficient and better trained to respond to emergencies.”
Shaun said that while he would love to save more lives himself, he feels that his work as a trainer is paying it forward and is just as important, because in essence it is empowering others to do the important work of EMS volunteers, and that allows him to saves even more lives, albeit indirectly.
“I always want to get out more and treat more patients and save lives, I think that everyone who volunteers as a first responder wants to do that. But giving people the knowledge and confidence to go out and save lives on their own brings me a lot of satisfaction as well. Knowing that my students are going out and rescuing people gives me a feeling of being a part of something much bigger than just me. In essence, I’m acting as a force multiplier for lifesaving.”
Shaun added that the camaraderie of United Hatzalah plays a big part in why he loves the organization so much. “I know that wherever I go in the country if I meet another responder from United Hatzalah then I already have a friend. Even if it is a friend that I have never met before, I know that they will be welcoming to me and I to them and that we already share a set of strong values in common. Values such as helping another, and putting someone else’s needs before your own.”
Shaun concluded by saying how important having a good network of first responders and a strong and friendly organization such as United Hatzalah behind you. “The field of EMS can be a daunting one. It isn’t for the faint of heart and it can take a toll on a person. It is extremely important to know that there is a strong network and organization behind you, supporting you when you go out into the field. It especially helps if that organization is as welcoming, friendly as United Hatzalah and shares a sense of family that is so strong and unique, that one would be hard-pressed to find it anywhere else.”
Shaun has been selected as the 4th recipient of the Korenvaes Miracle Award this Hanukkah. We will be posting other recipients nightly. To send Shaun a Hanukkah card or to make a donation in his honor that will help save lives in Israel throughout the next year, please click here.