Gavy Friedson, a former Jerusalemite and a United Hatzalah volunteer EMT, saved a young boy in Jackson Hole, Wyoming while he was on tour explaining how the organization works to local EMS teams. During the lecture to the Jackson Hole ambulance department and EMS teams, the local teams received a call that a 10-year-old boy had suffered spontaneous seizures while on a flight over the area. The plane made an emergency landing at the Jackson Hole airport, and the local team, having to interrupt Friedson’s lecture, invited him to join in the rescue.
“The call came in just as I was explaining to the local EMS teams about our national network of volunteers who drop whatever they are doing to save lives, said Friedson. “We were notified that the plane was making an emergency landing due to the child having seizures and that they needed immediate medical intervention.”
Friedson joined the local paramedics, rushed to the airport and treated the child before he was transported to the hospital for further care and observation. “The local team invited me to join them on the call, and I am very appreciative that they did. It is always special to be given the opportunity to help someone.”
The tour has been dubbed the “Road Show for Life” and has seen Friedson, as well as the organization’s Western US Regional Representative, Dusty Heist-Levine, traveling some 1,800 miles and covering 8 states with an ambucycle. The pair is meeting with local EMS teams and supporters in order to share the life-saving model of United Hatzalah that has decreased the average EMS response time in Israel to under 3 minutes.
“The goal of our tour is to educate others and show them how we do what we do and how effective it is in saving lives. Everyone is always talking about shortening EMS response times. We have a fully functioning model in place and we want to share it with the world,” said Friedson. “As a United Hatzalah volunteer, I am used to having my life interrupted to go and save others but doing it here in the U.S. was a truly meaningful experience for me and I am glad that I had the opportunity to help someone and show others exactly what we do. The Jackson Hole crew are terrific and they truly are heroes, each and every one of them.”
United Hatzalah is recognized by the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians (NREMT), the American Heart Association (AHA) and National Association of Emergency Medical Technicians (NAEMT) as the official training partner in Israel and its volunteers who pass accredited examinations either in Israel or in the U.S. can work as a registered EMT in 38 U.S. states. Wyoming is one of the 12 states that require EMS practitioners to pass a state-run course, but they offer reciprocity for EMS personnel who are NREMT certified.