Two months ago, on Monday afternoon, an accident had occurred on Ramatayim Street in Hod Hasharon. A motorcyclist had crashed into the back of a truck, causing the rider to be thrown onto the pavement. A passerby immediately called United Hatzalah’s Dispatch and Command Center, who then identified volunteer Roie Baharozi as the nearest EMT to the scene.
Roie was located on the same main street because he was at the post office. He had been waiting in a line for over an hour. Just as his turn came and his number was called, Roie’s communications device rang, alerting him to the nearby accident. Without a second of hesitation, Roie ran out of the post office, hopped on his ambucycle, and drove to the location of the accident.
Roie reached the given location in under a minute, along with another United Hatzalah volunteer EMT who had been two streets over when the incident occurred. The duo located the injured driver and quickly immobilized him by affixing a neck brace and placing his arm in a sling. After the man was immobilized, Roie treated the man’s open wounds, which were bleeding but not profusely. The second volunteer EMT assisted the driver by helping him reposition his leg which the driver said was hurting and was in a painful position.
15 minutes later, an ambulance arrived to take the man to the nearest hospital. Once the patient was transported to the hospital, Roei returned to the post office to take a new number and brace himself for another hour-long wait. When Roei finally arrived at the clerk’s window, the employee asked Roie why he had left before only to return half-an-hour later. Roie explained to the man what United Hatzalah does, and how come it was Roie’s duty, and the duty of all of the other volunteers of the organization, to drop whatever it is that they are doing and rush to help a stranger.
“All Israelis can empathize with the nightmare of waiting in line at the post office. However, I didn’t regret my decision, even as I pulled a new number out of the machine the second time around,” Said Roei. “There are always other EMTs around, and if I did not respond to the call, someone else surely would. But knowing that I was closest and would be the first to respond, means that The person who needs help would suffer a bit less if I go. Thus, I feel it is my responsibility to respond to any emergency that comes my way so that I could provide the person with expert care and alleviate their suffering a bit faster. how could I shift that responsibility onto someone else? I was very close to the scene and my ambucycle was waiting for me outside. So despite waiting in line for over an hour, I was the closest responder, and for all I knew, someone’s life could be on the line. When I am faced with the decision to receive my package in the post office a bit sooner or save a life, there is no question about it, and the post office can wait.”
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