On Monday morning, a woman with disabilities lost consciousness and collapsed at a care center near the town of Ma’aleh HaHamisha. Medical staff from the center initiated CPR and called emergency services for assistance.
United Hatzalah volunteer EMT Murad Barhom was one of the closest first responders to the incident and was alerted to the emergency. Murad a Muslim Arab who has had a home in the Jewish Kibbutz of Kiryat Anavim for nearly four decades, is no stranger to working together with his Jewish neighbors for a common goal.
Upon receiving the alert, Murad rushed to his ATV which he keeps near his home and drove the short distance from the Kibbutz to the care facility, all the while driving on dirt paths through the field and forested area that separates them, in order to arrive faster.
Three minutes later, Murad ran into the facility and was ushered to the room where the woman had collapsed. A minute later he was joined by Ofir Yitzchak and Boaz Armuza, two Jewish volunteers who live in the area and the trio joined the CPR efforts on the 42-year-old woman. Murad had already jumped in and taken over compressions from the resident medical staff, and when Ofir arrived, he switched out Murad. Murad, without wasting a moment, attached Ofir’s defibrillator which delivered three consecutive shocks to the woman that were interspersed with continued compressions and assisted ventilation provided by Ofir and Boaz.
A few minutes later a mobile intensive care ambulance arrived and found that the woman’s pulse had just returned. Murad, Ofir, and Boaz, assisted the ambulance team in preparing the woman for transport and getting her onto the ambulance.
“When the ambulance team came they told us that we did a great job and were responsible for bringing her pulse back,” said Murad after the incident. “It is for these types of situations that I joined this organization. I have never thought that I would become an EMT. I do not enjoy sitting and studying, I enjoy doing things, I enjoy working, and I enjoy helping people. The studying part of the course daunted me, but a few years ago a training course was offered and I told myself that this is the way that I could help those around me. Jews, Arabs, Christians, everyone. I got the studying part done, it was rough, but now I am doing what I love and helping those around me, and there is no greater feeling than that.”
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