On Wednesday morning, just before 9:00 a.m. in the town of Jadeidi-Makr in the Galilee, Farok Dabas was sleeping after a long ambulance shift the previous night, when his United Hatzalah communication device begins to chime, alerting him to a medical emergency taking place nearby.
A 79-year-old man, who lived one block away from Farok, had just suffered a heart attack and collapsed on his living room floor. Dabas, who in addition to volunteering with United Hatzalah, also works as an ambulance driver with the Hian ambulance company, jumped out of bed, threw on some clothes, and rushed over to the address. Arriving first on the scene, Farok grabbed his medical equipment and rushed inside only to see that the patient was the father of someone he knew.
Farok checked for a pulse and finding none, initiated CPR. He was joined moments later by Khaled Kayal, another United Hatzalah EMT and fellow ambulance driver with Hian. The pair of first responders performed three rounds of compressions and were about to attach a defibrillator, when, to their surprise, the man’s pulse suddenly returned.
“I have been working in the EMS field for many years,” said Khaled, “and never before have I seen a person’s pulse come back so fast after crashing, especially when they didn’t even receive a shock. It all happened so fast, it was incredible.”
Farok added: “This was the best way to start a day. Waking up to save the life of my neighbor’s father left me with such a great feeling that I was on an emotional high all day long. I have performed plenty of successful CPRs in my career, but this was very close to home and I am proud to have been able to help my friend, my neighbor, and my community.”
After Farok and Khaled brought the man’s pulse back, a mobile intensive care unit arrived and the man was transported to the nearest hospital for follow-up treatment and care.
“United Hatzalah helps me stay connected to everything going around me, no matter where I am,” explained Farok. “When it comes to our ambulance service when people call us we know about the incidents and respond as quickly as we can. United Hatzalah lets us know about all the other medical emergencies occurring all over so that we can respond to those as well. It is terrific for me to be doing this work both as a paid professional as well as a volunteer EMT.”
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